The Health Information National Trends Survey: Research From the Baseline

National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2006; 11 Suppl 1(1):vii-xvi. DOI: 10.1080/10810730600692553
Source: PubMed


The decades surrounding the turn of the millennium will be remembered as a time of extraordinary opportunity in cancer communication. In 1990, the number of age-adjusted deaths due to cancer in the U.S. population began a slow steady decline after a century of disparaging increase. Reasons for this decline have been attributed to long-awaited successes in primary prevention, especially related to tobacco, and early detection for cervical, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers, as well as advances in treatment. This was also a time of unparalleled change in the cancer communication environment. Scientific health discoveries escalated with the completion of the Human Genome project in 2003, and penetration of the Internet made health information available directly to consumers. To seize the opportunity afforded by these changes, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Fielded for the first time in 2003, the HINTS is a nationally representative, general population survey of noninstitutionalized adults in the United States 18 years and older. This supplement contains a compilation of original research conducted using the data generated by the first administration of the HINTS telephone interviews. Covering topics in cancer knowledge, cancer cognition, risk perception, and information seeking, the articles represent an interdisciplinary view of cancer communication at the turn of the millennium and offer insight into the road ahead.

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Available from: Bradford W Hesse
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    • "Communicating public health messages requires comprehensive understanding of public access to cancer-related information; public trust in health information sources; public knowledge of health risks and prevention strategies; and understanding of factors that facilitate or hinder effective health communication (Hesse et al., 2006; Nelson et al., 2004; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010). HINTS data capture these trends offering a unique resource for communication planners and researchers in their common aim to reduce the population cancer burden through effective, evidence-based, and patient-or public-centered communication (Hesse et al., 2006; Hesse et al., 2005; Nelson et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Health communication and health information technology influence the ways in which health care professionals and the public seek, use, and comprehend health information. The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) program was developed to assess the effect of health communication and health information technology on health-related attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. HINTS has fielded 3 national data collections with the fourth (HINTS 4) currently underway. Throughout this time, the Journal of Health Communication has been a dedicated partner in disseminating research based on HINTS data. Thus, the authors thought it the perfect venue to provide an historical overview of the HINTS program and to introduce the most recent HINTS data collection effort. This commentary describes the rationale for and structure of HINTS 4, summarizes the methodological approach applied in Cycle 1 of HINTS 4, describes the timeline for the HINTS 4 data collection, and identifies priorities for research using HINTS 4 data.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Health Communication
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    • "Conversely, cancer information-seeking among American adults was relatively low (47%), and for those who sought cancer information, suboptimal search experiences were common. Given this finding and the observation that the public is being increasingly called upon to take an active role in obtaining and processing information relevant to their health (Cayton, 2006; Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2004), continued research is needed not only to identify determinants of searching for cancer information (e.g., Finney Rutten, Squiers, & Hesse, 2006; Ramanadhan & Viswanath, 2006), but also on how to improve the public's cancer information-seeking experiences. Our results highlight negative affect as important to consider in strategies aimed at improving the public's experience of the cancer information environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health communication can help reduce the cancer burden by increasing processing of information about health interventions. Negative affect is associated with information processing and may be a barrier to successful health communication. We examined associations between negative affect and information processing at the population level. Symptoms of depression (6 items) and cancer worry (1 item) operationalized negative affect; attention to health information (5 items) and cancer information-seeking experiences (6 items) operationalized information processing. Higher cancer worry was associated with more attention to health information (p<.01) and worse cancer information-seeking experiences (p<.05). More symptoms of depression were associated with worse information-seeking experiences (p<.01), but not with attention. We found population-level evidence that increased cancer worry is associated with more attention to health information, and increased cancer worry and symptoms of depression are associated with worse cancer information-seeking experiences. Results suggest that affect plays a role in health information processing, and decreasing negative affect associated with cancer communication may improve experiences seeking cancer information.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Health Psychology
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    • "Finally, it is important to note that subgroup differences exist in all of the above constructs. Women, whites, younger people, and those with higher income and educational attainment tend to use Internet health information more than other subgroups (Hesse et al., 2006; Koch-Weser et al., 2010). Likewise, significant disparities exist in cancer screening adherence and screening rates are affected by race and ethnicity, health insurance status, health status, and socio-economic status (SES). "

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