Health Tracking Household Survey, 2010 [United States] (ICPSR 34141)

Version Date: Aug 9, 2012 View help for published

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Center for Studying Health System Change


Version V1

This is the second survey in the Health Tracking Household Survey (HTHS) series, the successor to the Community Tracking Study (CTS) Household Surveys. The CTS Household Surveys were conducted in 1996-1997 (ICPSR 2524), 1998-1999 (ICPSR 3199), 2000-2001 (ICPSR 3764), and 2003 (ICPSR 4216), and the first HTHS survey was conducted in 2007 (ICPSR 26001). Although the HTHS questionnaires are similar to the CTS Household Survey questionnaires, the HTHS sampling design does not have the community focus intrinsic to CTS. Whereas the CTS design focused on 60 nationally representative communities with sample sizes large enough to draw conclusions about health system change in 12 communities, the HTHS design is a national sample not aimed at measuring change within communities. Hence, "Community" was dropped from the study title. Like the previous surveys, this survey collected information on health insurance coverage, use of health services, health expenses, satisfaction with health care and physician choice, unmet health care needs, usual source of care and patient trust, health status, and adult chronic conditions. In addition, the survey inquired about perceptions of care delivery and quality, problems with paying medical bills, use of in-store retail and onsite workplace health clinics, patient engagement with health care, sources of health information, and shopping for health care.

At the beginning of the interview, a household informant provided information about the composition of the household which was used to group the household members into family insurance units (FIU). Each FIU comprised an adult household member, his or her spouse or domestic partner (same sex and other unmarried partners), if any, and any dependent children 0-17 years of age or 18-22 years of age if a full-time student (even if living outside the household). In each FIU in the household, a FIU informant provided information on insurance coverage, health care use, usual source of care, and general health status of all FIU members. This informant also provided information on family income as well as employment, earnings, employer-offered insurance plans, and race/ethnicity for all adult FIU members. Moreover, every adult in each FIU (including the FIU informant) responded through a self-response module to questions that could not be answered reliably by proxy respondents, such as questions about unmet needs, usual source of care, assessments of the quality of care, consumer engagement, satisfaction with physician choice, use of health information, health care shopping, and detailed health questions. The FIU informants responded on behalf of children regarding unmet needs, satisfaction with physician choice, and use of health care information.

Center for Studying Health System Change. Health Tracking Household Survey, 2010 [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-09.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

As explained in the technical documentation, some variables are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining the restricted-use data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2010-04 -- 2011-03
2010-04 -- 2011-03

Additional information about this study can be found on the Web site of the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Households were selected using random-digit-dialing sampling of landline and cellular phones. This was the first HTHS/CTS survey to introduce a sample of cellular phone numbers.

The survey obtained information about every adult and one child under age 18 (if present) in each FIU. In FIUs with more than one child under age 18, one child was randomly selected for inclusion in the survey.

Civilian household population of the contiguous United States

survey data

The household-level response rate was 42 percent and FIU-level response rate was 40 percent.


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Center for Studying Health System Change. Health Tracking Household Survey, 2010 [United States]. ICPSR34141-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-09.

2012-08-09 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.