SEER-MHOS Data Documentation

On this page will find information on MHOS Survey items, variables, and measures. MHOS items have changed over time. Please review the documentation below to ensure coverage across your sample population.


The following is a brief description about how the analysis file was created, who is included in the file, the structure of the file, and the content of the file. For ease of reference, variable names are included in parentheses.

The SEER-MHOS is a survey-level analysis file organized chronologically, based on the earliest survey administration date (SRVDATE). The file includes all Medicare Advantage enrollees (Cohorts 1 to 22) that have completed at least one MHOS. For Cohort 22, only respondents previously linked (SEER cases, or non-cancers linked by prior surveys or by other study file sources) have been included in this release. Each cohort consists of a baseline survey and a two-year follow-up survey. Some beneficiaries were sampled in more than one cohort, resulting in multiple baseline and follow-up surveys. The variable (INSEER) identifies MHOS respondents who were found in the SEER file and were diagnosed with cancer between 1973 and 2019. The cancer registry data released as part of SEER-MHOS are not included in the survey-level file, they are included in a customized file known as the SEER-MHOS Cancer file.

Constructed variables

Physical and Mental Health outcomes. The SF-36 sub-scales and summary scores are only available through 2005, more recent cohorts (since 2006) use the VR-12. Work has been done to calibrate sub-scale and summary scores across the two outcome measures.

SF-36 scales and summary scores (PCS, MCS) are provided on a T-score metric through 2006 (Cohorts 1-8).

Physical and mental summary scores are also available for Cohorts 7-22. For more information, refer to How to Use the SF-36 Measures. For 2006 survey years and later, physical and mental summary scores are provided based on the Veterans Rand (VR-12), but the SF-36 scales and T-scores are no longer available. In addition, VR-12 equivalent scores were calculated for Cohorts 1-6 Baseline and Follow up and Cohorts 7-8 Baseline. The eight scales (physical functioning, role limitation (physical), pain, general health, emotional well-being, role limitation (emotional), social functioning, and energy/fatigue) have all been adjusted by survey mode and language.

SEER-MHOS Data Dictionary

SEER-MHOS Details for Researchers

Last Updated: 19 Apr, 2024