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

Published Articles that use this HINTS Question: In the last 12 months, have you used the Internet for any of the following reasons? Bought medicine or vitamins on-line

Cutrona SL, Mazor KM, Vieux SN, Luger TM, Volkman JE, Finney Rutten LJ.  2015  Health information-seeking on behalf of others: characteristics of "surrogate seekers".  Journal of Cancer Education   30(1):12-9

Desai K, Chewning B, and Mott D.  2015  Health care use amongst online buyers of medications and vitamins.  Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy   pii: S1551-7411(15)00003-0

Valle C, Tate D, Mayer D, Allicock M, Cai J, Campbell MK.  2015  Physical activity in young adults: a signal detection analysis of Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 2007 data.  Journal of Health Communication   20(2):134-46

Wilson EV, Balkan S, Lankton NK.   2014  Trends in U.S. Consumers’ Use of E-Health Services: Fine-Grained Results from a Longitudinal, Demographic Survey.  Communications of the Association for Information Systems   34(73) 


Chou WY, Liu B, Post S, Hesse B.  2011  Health-related Internet use among cancer survivors: Data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, 2003-2008.  Journal of Cancer Survivorship   5(3):263-70

Cotten SR, Goldner M, Hale TM, Drentea P.  2011  The importance of type, amount, and timing of internet use for understanding psychological distress.  Social Science Quarterly   92(1):119-39

Geiger BF, O'Neal MR, Firsing SL 3rd, Smith KH, Chandan P, Schmidt A, Jackson JB.  2010  HealthyME HealthyU(©2010UCPGB): a collaborative project to enhance access to health information and services for individuals with disabilities.  Journal of Health Communication   15 Suppl 3:46-59

Tortolero-Luna G, Finney Rutten LJ, Hesse BW, Davis T, Kornfeld J, Sanchez M,Moser RP, Ortiz AP, Serrano-Rodriguez RA, Davis K.  2010  Health and cancer information seeking practices and preferences in Puerto Rico: creating an evidence base for cancer communication efforts.  Journal of Health Communication   15 Suppl 3:30-45


Wilson EV, Dobrzykowski DD, Cazier JA.  2008  The Influence of Media Trust and Internet Trust on Privacy-Risking Uses of E-Health.  International Journal of Information Security and Privacy   2(3): 84-97

Cheong PH, Feeley TH, Servoss T.  2007  Understanding health inequalities for uninsured Americans: a population-wide survey.  Journal of Health Communication   12(3):285-300


Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K.  2006  Health and the information nonseeker: a profile.  Health Communication   20(2):131-9

Hesse BW, Nelson DE, Kreps GL, Croyle RT, Arora NK, Rimer BK, Viswanath K.  2005  Trust and sources of health information: the impact of the Internet and its implications for health care providers: findings from the first Health Information National Trends Survey.  JAMA Internal Medicine   165(22):2618-24

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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.