237256 Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS): A free online data resource for teaching U.S. public health and statistics

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:17 PM

Miriam L. King, PhD , Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Lynn A. Blewett, PhD , Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
With support from NIH, researchers have created Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS), a free, online, consistently-coded version of the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Used to monitor U.S. public health for half a century, and the main source for evaluating progress toward Healthy People goals, NHIS provides invaluable data on health behaviors, conditions, and care. With thousands of variables, large sample size, and sampling frame representative of the non-institutionalized civilian population, NHIS is also a potential tool for teaching statistics. IHIS makes it easy for students to analyze NHIS data, through the following methods: coding variables consistently; providing detailed documentation (on question wording, codes and frequencies, universes, and comparability issues); simplifying weights and constructing survey design variables suitable for pooling data across years; and allowing researchers to create customized data extracts with only the years and variables they need, at no cost over the Internet. Students experienced in using statistical packages can select from over 7000 variables for multivariate analyses. Students new to data analysis can use the online tabulator to frame and test hypotheses (running frequencies, cross-tabulations, means, and significance tests). IHIS is a proven resource for classroom use. Of the more than 1000 registered IHIS users, 12 percent are undergraduates and 43 percent are graduate students. Over a quarter of registrants report "class assignment" as the outcome of their research. This presentation will highlight key features of IHIS that make it suitable for classroom use and provide examples of IHIS use in teaching statistics and public health.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify elements of the IHIS database that can be used to teach statistics and U.S. public health trends to graduate and undergraduate students.

Keywords: Teaching, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directed data harmonization, documentation, and user support on the IHIS project since its inception, am the Project Manager for the IHIS project, have a PhD in demography, and have worked for over 10 years on data harmonization projects like IHIS at the Minnesota Population Center.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.