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Health Information National Trends Survey
Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

HINTS Briefs

HINTS Briefs provide a snapshot of noteworthy, data-driven research findings. They introduce population-level estimates for specific questions in the survey and summarize significant research findings that are a result of analyzing how certain demographic characteristics influence specific outcomes. Many Briefs summarize research findings from recent peer-reviewed journal articles using HINTS data.

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English Briefs

Brief 31: Patients Who Receive a Treatment Summary Post-Cancer Report Better Quality of Care and Communication With Providers Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 31 For millions of cancer survivors, post-cancer care—also called survivorship care—is a crucial part of their continued physical and psychological well-being. In this HINTS Brief, we examine whether receiving a survivorship care plan or treatment summary influenced patients’ perceived quality of care and satisfaction with patient-provider communication.
April 2016
Brief 16: Trends in Cancer Information Seeking Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 16 The past few decades have witnessed dramatic changes in the health communication and informatics environment.
August 2010
Brief 12: Hispanics Less Likely to Seek Cancer Information than Non-Hispanics Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 12 Differences in cancer information seeking and information access have the potential to shape health knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and medical decisions, and may contribute to disparities in health outcomes among disadvantaged populations.
January 2009
Brief 10: Information Support for Cancer Survivors: Cancer information seeking behaviors Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 10 Many people who have been touched by cancer actively use available resources (e.g., the Internet, health care providers, newspapers, brochures, and magazines) to seek information about the disease.
June 2008
Brief 9: Confusion about Cancer Prevention: Association with behavior Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 9 Because many cancers can be prevented through individual action and lifestyle (e.g., not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and wearing sunscreen), public understanding of cancer prevention is critical to cancer control.
January 2008
Brief 7: Health Communication: Considerations for Developing Effective Health Communication Strategies Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 7 Effective health communication strategies are increasingly recognized as integral to improving population health.
August 2007
Brief 1: Cancer Information Seeking Behaviors Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 1 Almost half of all Americans have sought out information on the disease and its causes, prevention, and treatment.
December 2005
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HINTS Data Terms of Use

It is of utmost importance to ensure the confidentiality of survey participants. Every effort has been made to exclude identifying information on individual respondents from the computer files. Some demographic information such as sex, race, etc., has been included for research purposes. NCI expects that users of the data set will adhere to the strictest standards of ethical conduct for the analysis and reporting of nationally collected survey data. It is mandatory that all research results be presented/published in a manner that protects the integrity of the data and ensures the confidentiality of participants.

In order for the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to provide a public-use or another version of data to you, it is necessary that you agree to the following provisions.

  1. You will not present/publish data in which an individual can be identified. Publication of small cell sizes should be avoided.
  2. You will not attempt to link nor permit others to link the data with individually identified records in another database.
  3. You will not attempt to learn the identity of any person whose data are contained in the supplied file(s).
  4. If the identity of any person is discovered inadvertently, then the following should be done;
    1. no use will be made of this knowledge,
    2. the HINTS Program staff will be notified of the incident,
    3. no one else will be informed of the discovered identity.
  5. You will not release nor permit others to release the data in full or in part to any person except with the written approval of the HINTS Program staff.
  6. If accessing the data from a centralized location on a time sharing computer system or LAN, you will not share your logon name and password with any other individuals. You will also not allow any other individuals to use your computer account after you have logged on with your logon name and password.
  7. For all software provided by the HINTS Program, you will not copy, distribute, reverse engineer, profit from its sale or use, or incorporate it in any other software system.
  8. The source of information should be cited in all publications. The appropriate citation is associated with the data file used. Please see Suggested Citations in the Download HINTS Data section of this Web site, or the Readme.txt associated with the ASCII text version of the HINTS data.
  9. Analyses of large HINTS domains usually produce reliable estimates, but analyses of small domains may yield unreliable estimates, as indicated by their large variances. The analyst should pay particular attention to the standard error and coefficient of variation (relative standard error) for estimates of means, proportions, and totals, and the analyst should report these when writing up results. It is important that the analyst realizes that small sample sizes for particular analyses will tend to result in unstable estimates.
  10. You may receive periodic e-mail updates from the HINTS administrators.