Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Description: The National Health Interview Survey is a household survey that serves as the primary source of information on the health of the U.S., non-institutionalized, civilian population. Though it has undergone various changes since its inception in 1957, the NHIS has remained largely unchanged since 1997 and comprises the Basic Core Questionnaire (Family, Sample Adult and Sample Child surveys) as well as topic-focused supplements. The Basic Core collects information on household composition and sociodemographic characteristics, tracking information, information for matches to administrative data bases, and basic indicators of health status, activity limitations, injuries, health insurance coverage, and access to and utilization of health care services. Supplement topics are often selected to coincide with monitoring areas of public health interest and to help in the monitoring of national health goals (e.g., Healthy People 2010). Examples of supplement topics include cancer, diabetes, mental health and complementary and alternative medicine.
Relevant Policy Issues: Measurement of Health Status, Disease-specific Measurements, Factors Contributing to Measured Health Disparities, Measures of Well-being for Families/Households, Factors Contributing to Well-being Disparities of Families, Measures of Well-being for Children, Measures of Well-being for Elders, and Factors Contributing to Well-being Disparities of Elders.
Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Individual, Family, and Household
Identification of AI/AN/NA: The race categories available in the public use data set are:
  • White only
  • Black/African American only
  • American Indian/Alaska Native only (AI/AN)
  • Asian only
  • Race group not releasable
  • Multiple race
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: AI/AN only: 670
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the NHIS is national. Geographic analysis also is possible at the regional level.
Date or Frequency: These data have been collected since 1969, though only data from 1982 through the present are currently available for download from the Internet. The most recent, complete file available is from 2005.
Data Collection Methodology: NHIS is currently conducted via a personal household interview with a knowledgeable adult household representative using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) technology.
Participation: Optional, without incentives
Response Rate: For 2003, the overall response rate was 89.2 percent for a sample of 35,921 households (92,148 individuals). The Sample Adult subsample had a response rate of 74.2 percent, while the Sample Child subsample had a response rate of 81.1 percent.
Sampling Methodology: NHIS utilizes a stratified, multi-stage probability design to reflect the overall noninstitutionalized U.S. population. The sample is drawn from a geographic frame designated using the most recent decennial Census. Names and addresses are derived in a separate listing activities conducted specifically for NHIS. From 1995 through 2005, African American and Hispanic households were oversampled in order to facilitate better estimates for these populations. Beginning in 2006, households with at least one Asian member are also oversampled.
Analysis: Equations calculating standard errors can be found in the Survey Description document on page: www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhis/quest_data_related_1997_forward.htm.
Strengths: Data set contains a large number of AI/AN/NA respondents. Data are collected on key policy issues, including health and child welfare. There are multiple years of data available. Certain years can be linked to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to produce a very rich database that includes medical care utilization data.
Limitations: The NHIS data conform to the revised OMB guidelines, which mean that data for the Asian population is collected separately from that of the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (NH/PI) population. NCHS data confidentiality standards do not permit the release the population counts for the NH/PI population separately because of the small size of this population. This group is combined with other small population groups into an aggregated group labeled Race group not releasable on the public use data file. Researchers wishing to do analysis on the NH/PI population can submit a proposal to the NCHS Research Data Center; however there is a charge which depends on the amount of time and help needed. Information on this process can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/r&d/rdc.htm
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: Data are available to the public at no cost.
Contact Information: National Center for Health Statistics
Hyattsville, MD 20782
(301) 458-4000 or (866) 441-NCHS
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm

 

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