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Rehabilitation Dataset Directory: Dataset Profile


Dataset: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

Basic Information
Dataset full name: National Health Interview Survey
Dataset acronym NHIS
Summary The NHIS is a cross-sectional household interview survey. It is the primary data source on the health of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States. The survey, initiated 1956, was designed "to produce statistics on disease, injury, impairment, disability, and related topics on a uniform basis for the Nation.” In general, the NHIS exists to monitor the health of the U.S. non-institutional population, and to display these characteristics by socio-economic and demographic characteristics. NHIS data are used within government agencies and the academic research community to monitor developments in the prevalence of illness, disability, and other health-related conditions.
Key Terms Health, Disability, Health Care Access, Health Care Utilization
Study Design Cross-sectional
Data Type(s) Survey
Sponsoring Agency/Entity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Health conditions/Disability measures
Health condition(s) Diabetes, Cardiovascular Conditions, Neurological Conditions, Malignancies, Arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Pain, etc.
Disability Measures ADL and IADL measures of functional limitations, Sensory disability, Physical disability, Mental health disability, Intellectual disability
Measures/outcomes of interest
Topics Health status including: Obesity and other health conditions, Health behavior (includes alcohol, tobacco, and substance use), Health care access and utilization, Access to health insurance, Employment
Sample
Sample Population Civilian households & non-institutionalized group quarters
Sample Size/Notes 88,446 persons completed the survey across 33,856 households in 2009 (most recent data available). Representative sample of civilian non-institutionalized population, with oversampling of Black, Hispanic, and Asians (more recent change since 2006)
Unit of Observation Individual
Geographic Coverage National
Geographic specificity National-level estimates; some state-level estimates possible with pooling of data across several years (may not be very reliable)
Data Collection
Data Collection Mode In-person interviews administered to household representative (age equal to or greater than age of majority) by trained interviewers from U.S. Census Bureau - one random sample adult from household is interviewed to document adult health status and data i
Years Collected 1957 - present, most relevant years 1997 - present due to consistency issues
Data Collection Frequency Annual
Strengths and limitations
Strengths Contains a broad set of disability-related questions and a large set of other variables (very detailed health information). Annual national estimates with oversampling of minority populations including Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. Currently fielding ACS-based disability questions. Can be used to examine relationship between environmental factors, individual factors and health/health care outcomes. Linked datasets to SSA, MEPS and Medicare help in examining various relationships between health and community-engagement for individuals with disabilities.
Limitations Only national level statistics. Changes in sampling frame and recent 13% permanent reduction in sample size makes comparison across years problematic. Does not include population living in institutionalized group quarters. Sampling frame is refreshed every 10 years and certain minority groups may be underrepresented (e.g., American Indians).
Data details
Primary Website http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/about_nhis.htm
Data Access CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/nhis_2009_data_release.htm
ICPSR: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/series/40/studies/28721
ICPSR includes additional value added information for researchers
Data Access Requirements Public Use Dataset
Summary Tables/reports http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/nhis_series.htm
Dataset components (where applicable) N/A
Selected papers
Technical Multiple technical reports on sample-size and variance estimation procedures
Other Papers A Guide to Disability Statistics from the National Health Interview Survey"



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