HINTS Health Information National Trends Survey
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Frequently Asked Questions

What HINTS Does

HINTS collects nationally representative data routinely about the American public's use of cancer-related information. The survey:

  • Provides updates on changing patterns, needs, and information opportunities in health
  • Identifies changing communications trends and practices
  • Assesses cancer information access and usage
  • Provides information about how cancer risks are perceived
  • Offers a testbed to researchers to test new theories in health communication

How HINTS Data Are Used

The HINTS data collection program was created to monitor changes in the rapidly evolving field of health communication. Survey researchers are using the data to understand how adults 18 years and older use different communication channels, including the Internet, to obtain vital health information for themselves and their loved ones. Program planners are using the data to overcome barriers to health information usage across populations, and obtaining the data they need to create more effective communication strategies. Finally, social scientists are using the data to refine their theories of health communication in the information age and to offer new and better recommendations for reducing the burden of cancer throughout the population. Hints data are available for public use.

NCI Presentations

The following presentations were presented to researchers at the National Cancer Institute. They are provided here as background to the survey and the analytic methodologies appropriate for nationally weighted probability samples.

  • HINTS Presentation to NCI Director, presented 12-18-2003 PDF (2.3 MB)
  • Analyzing Weighted Survey Data, presented 2-9-2004 PDF (83 KB)
  • Webinar: HINTS: Progress, Plans and Potentials, presented 6-27-2007 WMV (7.2 MB)

HINTS Sponsors

HINTS was developed by the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB) of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) as an outcome of the National Cancer Institute's Extraordinary Opportunity in Cancer Communications. To learn more about communication and informatics research at NCI, please visit the HCIRB and DCCPS Web sites.

For additional information about the HINTS program contact Bradford Hesse, Ph.D. (HINTS Program Director) hesseb@mail.nih.gov