National Health Interview Survey, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement, 2002

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Other > Summary

"The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a multi-purpose health survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian, noninstitutionalized, household population in the United States. The NHIS has been conducted continuously since its beginning in 1957." (NHIS Survey Description, Public Use Data Release, December 2003). "The Alternative Health/Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement collected information from sample adults on their use of 17 non-conventional health care practices." These practices include prayer and spiritual healing.

Data File
Cases: 31,044
Variables: 1,652
Weight Variable: (WTFA_SA) Sample Adult Weight - use for all ALT variables
Data Collection
Date Collected: 2002
Funded By
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Collection Procedures
The National Health Interview Survey is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data are collected through a personal household interview. "The NHIS is conducted using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). The CAPI version of the NHIS questionnaire is administered using laptop computers, which allow interviewers to read questions from and enter responses directly into the computer during the interviews." (NHIS Survey Description, Public Use Data Release, December 2003)
Sampling Procedures
"Traditionally, the sample for the NHIS is redesigned and redrawn every ten years to better measure the changing U.S. population and to meet new survey objectives. The fundamental sample design structure of the 1995-2004 NHIS is similar to that of the 1985-1994 NHIS; however, there were two major changes to the 1995-2004 sample design. First, a state-level stratification increased the number of primary sampling units (PSUs) from 198 to 358. This enhanced the capability of using the NHIS for state estimation and future dual-frame surveys at the state level. (Users should note that the NHIS is currently not designed to provide state-level estimates; however, in some cases this can be done, particularly for those states with larger populations. Contact the NCHS Research Data Center for more information, or visit their web page: Second, both the black and Hispanic populations are now oversampled to allow for more precise estimation of health in these growing minority populations. In the previous design, only black Americans were oversampled." (NHIS Survey Description, Public Use Data Release, December 2003)

About 10 percent of the households in the 2002 NHIS sample were deleted from interviewers’ assignments. Therefore, no new interviews were conducted during five of the 50 weeks of interviewing. The total number of households deleted was 7,512 out of 74,782 households originally selected for interviewing. Note that these totals do not represent the number of completed household interviews.
Principal Investigators
National Center for Health Statistics
For complete information on the National Health Interview Survey, visit:

"Persons who did not give responses to any of the questions in the supplement had a value of 'not ascertained'."

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