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

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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 30: Cancer-related Information Seeking among Cancer Survivors Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 30 Cancer survivors may face physical, emotional, social, and financial challenges as a result of their diagnosis and treatment. Many people seek information from a variety of sources to cope with this “new normal.” In this HINTS Brief, we examine a decade of national trends in cancer-related information seeking among cancer survivors.
December 2015
Brief 29: Health Information Seeking on Behalf of Others: Characteristics of “Surrogate Seekers” Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 29 When it comes to searching for health information, there are “self seekers” – those who go online to find health information for themselves, and there are “surrogate seekers” – those who go online to look for information for others. People who engage in online health information seeking often fall into both categories. In this HINTS Brief, we identify unique demographic characteristics of surrogate seekers, and describe their satisfaction with the search process.
September 2015
Brief 22: Trust and Use of Media for Health Information among U.S. Hispanics Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 22 It has been well documented that some population segments—particularly those with lower socioeconomic status—experience knowledge gaps related to their health and their health care and often have difficulty accessing and using information that could help to reduce and prevent an unequal burden of disease. This may be especially relevant for Hispanic populations living in the United States because of well-established language, cultural, and media use challenges.
July 2012
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 8: On-line Communication with Health Care Providers: eHealth behaviors and trends Download Brief in PDF Format
Cover image of Brief 8 An emerging concept known as "eHealth" seeks to capitalize on the promise of new media technologies to facilitate equal access to timely and credible health information.
November 2007
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

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.