National Health Interview Survey, Sample Adults, 2002
Investigators: National Center for Health Statistics

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a multi-purpose health survey conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics and is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian, noninstitutionalized, household population of the United States. The main objective of the NHIS is to monitor the health of the United States population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics. NHIS data are used widely throughout the Department of Health and Human Services to monitor trends in illness and disability and to track progress toward achieving national health objectives.

The National Health Interview Survey is a cross-sectional household interview survey. Sampling and interviewing are continuous throughout each year. The sampling plan follows a multistage area probability design that permits the representative sampling of households. Both the black and Hispanic populations are oversampled to allow for more precise estimation of health in these growing minority populations.

The U.S. Census Bureau is the data collection agent for the NHIS. Data are collected through a personal household interview by Census interviewers. The NHIS questionnaire is conducted using a computer assisted personal interviewer (CAPI). The CAPI version of the NHIS questionnaire is administered using a laptop computer and interviewers enter responses directly into the computer during the interview. Within each family participating in the NHIS, one sample adult is randomly selected, and is administered the sample adult core questionnaire. For each sample adult, extensive information is collected on health status, conditions, disability, health care services, and behavior. A unique feature of the 2002 NHIS is the Alternative Health/Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement, which collected information from sample adults on their use of 17 non-conventional health care practices.

The interviewed sample for the 2002 NHIS consisted of 36,161 households, which yielded 93,386 persons in 36,831 families. The interviewed sample for the sample adult component was 31,044 persons 18 years of age and older. The conditional response rate for the sample adult component was 84.4% of persons identified as sample adults. Sociometrics has archived 2002 National Health Interview Survey data for sample adult respondents. The data set contains 2,444 variables collected from 31,044 sample adults and includes linked records from several components of the survey including the alternative health supplement.

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