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Sunday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Poster Session 1: Poster Board Number 30

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Poster Board Number: 30
Title: Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS): A Free, Online, Integrated Version of the US National Health Interview Survey, 1960s-Present
Objective: We created a free, online version of data from a leading US health survey, the National Health Interview Survey, with consistent codes, extensive online documentation, and a data extract system making files with the years and variables selected by the user. The objective is to make these health data easier to use across multiple years.
Methods: Methods included tracing variables and survey questions over time and across hundreds of reformatted public use source files and recoding the data into consistent values without losing information, via customized programming. Our user-friendly web design displays over 7,000 variables on health status, behaviors, and access to care. We wrote detailed descriptions of each variable that cover comparability issues, codes and frequencies, and linked survey text. Our metadata driven system allows researchers to merge files to create, online, a tailor-made extract file with the variables and years fitting their research project, or to tabulate data online. The scope and accessibility of the website, database, and documentation are best viewed interactively; I will demonstrate an interactive copy of the website on on a laptop computer.
Results: Prior to the creation of our free, online version of these data, users of the public use health data files rarely analyzed material from more than one to two survey years. Researchers using our version of the data routinely analyze health trends and differentials across multiple years, often covering the 1960s to the present. Our online tabulator makes simple data analysis via table creation accessible to undergraduates, while advanced students and researchers with experience using a statistical package include multiple decades of data in multivariate analyses. Our biggest challenge is bringing this resource to the attention of more medical and public health researchers, educators, and students.
Conclusions: While we succeeded in making it easier to analyze multiple years of data from a leading US health survey, we need to work with medical librarians to make this free health database more widely known.
Author: Miriam L. King, Research Associate (PhD), Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Sunday May 15, 2011 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (6)

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