Health Tracking Household Survey, 2007 [United States] (ICPSR 26001)

Version Date: Apr 15, 2011 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Center for Studying Health System Change


Version V1

The 2007 Health Tracking Household Survey (HTHS) is the successor to the Community Tracking Study (CTS) Household Surveys which were conducted in 1996-1997 (ICPSR 2524), 1998-1999 (ICPSR 3199), 2000-2001 (ICPSR 3764), and 2003 (ICPSR 4216). 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 CTS Household Surveys, HTHS 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, adult chronic conditions, height and weight, and smoking behavior. 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, 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, 2007 [United States]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-04-15.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (57849)

As explained in the technical documentation, some variables are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these 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
2007-04 -- 2008-01
  1. Additional information about this study can be found on the Web site of the Center for Studying Health System Change.

  2. Domestic partners are included in the same FIU since many health insurance policies now cover them. Previously in the CTS Household Surveys, domestic partners (same-sex partners and other unmarried partners) formed separate FIUs.


Households were selected using random-digit dialing techniques. The survey obtained information about every adult and one child under age 18 (if any) in each FIU. In FIU's with more than one child, one child was randomly selected for inclusion in the survey.

Civilian household population of the contiguous United States

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Patient Activation Measure



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, 2007 [United States]. ICPSR26001-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-10-16.

The principal investigator updated the user guides:

  • Software requirements in the Fact Sheet table were updated to reflect the appropriate software capabilities.
  • Section 3.2.1: Instructions for selecting weights when combining multiple rounds of data were corrected to indicate the proper weights from Round 4.
  • Appendix C (Sudaan instructions): (1) Code was simplified to reflect the national, with-replacement sampling design when analyzing Round 5 only, and (2) instructions for renaming weights when combining data from Rounds 4 and 5 were corrected.
  • Appendix D (SAS and STATA instructions): (1) Updated information about software versions and capabilities, and (2) code was simplified and instructions for renaming weights when combining Rounds 4 and 5 were corrected, as in Appendix C.

2009-10-20 Documentation files for the restricted-use data have been added to the collection.

2009-10-15 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.