Meeting the healthy people 2020 goals: using the Health Information National Trends Survey to monitor progress on health communication objectives. Academic Article uri icon

start page

  • 1497

end page

  • 1509


  • The Healthy People initiative outlines a comprehensive set of goals aimed at improving the nation's health and reducing health disparities. Health communication has been included as an explicit goal since the launch of Healthy People 2010. The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) was established as a means of exploring how the changing information environment was affecting the public's health, and is therefore an ideal tool for monitoring key health communication objectives included in the Healthy People agenda. In this article, the authors apply an integrative data analysis strategy to more than 10 years of HINTS data to demonstrate how public health surveillance can be used to evaluate broad national health goals, like those set forth under the Healthy People initiative. The authors analyzed just one item from the HINTS survey regarding Internet access in order to illustrate what public health surveillance tools, like HINTS, can reveal about important indicators that are of interest to all those who work to improve the health of the public. Results show that reported Internet penetration has exceeded the Healthy People 2020 target of 75.4%. HINTS data also allowed modeling of the effects of various sociodemographic factors, which revealed persistent differences on the basis of age and education, with the oldest age groups and those with less than a college education falling short of the Healthy People 2020 target as of 2013. Furthermore, although differences by race/ethnicity were observed, the analyses suggest that race in itself accounts for very little of the variance in Internet access.

date/time value

  • December 2014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10810730.2014.954084

PubMed Identifier

  • 25491584


  • 19


  • 12


  • Goals
  • Health Communication
  • Health Surveys
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • United States