Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)

Years Available
2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019
Biennial 2003-2007, then Annual 2011-2014, 2017-2020
Mode of Collection
Sample survey; since 2011, the survey has been a mailed, self-administered questionnaire.
The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) is an annual cross-sectional survey of a nationally-representative sample of American adults that assess the impact of the health information environment. Created to monitor changes in the rapidly evolving field of health communication, HINTS measures how people access and use health information; how people use information technology to manage health and health information; and the degree to which people are engaged in healthy behaviors. Several items in HINTS have a specific focus on cancer prevention and control.
Selected Content
Areas covered in HINTS include: health communication (e.g., media exposure, trust in information sources, internet use); mental modes of cancer (e.g., knowledge and beliefs, perceived risks); risk behaviors (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, smoking); and respondent characteristics.
Population Covered
Noninstitutionalized adults ages 18 and older in the United States
The current sample design consists of a single-mode mail survey, using the Next-Birthday Method for respondent selection. The mailing protocol includes: an initial mailing of the survey along with a $2 incentive; a reminder postcard; a second mailing of the survey via Priority Mail; and a third mailing by regular mail. Spanish language questionnaires are mailed to respondents who request them. For every cycle of data collection, every sampled adult who completes a HINTS questionnaire receives a full-sample weight and a set of 50 replicate weights. The full-sample weight is used to calculate population and subpopulation estimates. Replicate weights are used to calculate standard errors for these estimates. HINTS data and weights are designed so that each round of data collection can be combined with prior rounds.
Response Rates and Sample Size
In 2017, 3,191 persons completed the HINTS survey, for a weighted response rate of 32%.
Health Information National Trends Survey 5 (HINTS 5) Cycle 2 Methodology Report. Prepared for the National Cancer Institute by Westat. July 2018.