Sexual orientation in the 2013 National Health Interview Survey : a quality assessment
Published Date:December 2014
Corporate Authors:National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.) ; National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (U.S.) ;
Series:Vital and health statistics. Series 2, Data evaluation and methods research ; no. 169
DHHS publication ; no. (PHS) 2015–1369
Description:Objective: This report presents a set of quality analyses of sexual orientation data collected in the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). NHIS sexual orientation estimates are compared with those from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Selected health outcomes by sexual orientation are compared between NHIS and NSFG. Assessments of item nonresponse, item response times, and responses to follow-up questions to the sexual orientation question are also presented.
Methods: NHIS is a multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Analyses in this report were based on NHIS data collected in 2013 from 34,557 adults aged 18 and over. Sampling weights were used to produce national estimates that are representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. Data from the 2006–2010 NSFG and 2009–2012 NHANES were used for the comparisons.
Results: Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay/lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to answer. Responses to follow-up questions suggest that the sexual orientation question is producing little classification error. In addition, largely similar patterns of association between sexual orientation and health were observed for NHIS and NSFG. Analyses of item nonresponse rates revealed few data quality issues, although item response times suggest possible shortcutting of the question and comprehension problems for select respondents.
Suggested citation: Dahlhamer JM, Galinsky AM, Joestl SS, Ward BW. Sexual orientation in the 2013 National Health Interview Survey: A quality assessment. Vital Health Stat 2(169). 2014.
ISBN 978–0-8406–0670-9—ISBN 0–8406-0670–2
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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