Publication Abstract

Authors: Hamilton JG, Breen N, Klabunde CN, Moser RP, Leyva B, Breslau ES, Kobrin SC

Title: Opportunities and challenges for the use of large-scale surveys in public health research: a comparison of the assessment of cancer screening behaviors.

Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 24(1):3-14

Date: 2015 Jan

Abstract: Large-scale surveys that assess cancer prevention and control behaviors are a readily available, rich resource for public health researchers. Although these data are used by a subset of researchers who are familiar with them, their potential is not fully realized by the research community for reasons including lack of awareness of the data and limited understanding of their content, methodology, and utility. Until now, no comprehensive resource existed to describe and facilitate use of these data. To address this gap and maximize use of these data, we catalogued the characteristics and content of four surveys that assessed cancer screening behaviors in 2005, the most recent year with concurrent periods of data collection: the National Health Interview Survey, Health Information National Trends Survey, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and California Health Interview Survey. We documented each survey's characteristics, measures of cancer screening, and relevant correlates; examined how published studies (n = 78) have used the surveys' cancer screening data; and reviewed new cancer screening constructs measured in recent years. This information can guide researchers in deciding how to capitalize on the opportunities presented by these data resources.