Social and behavioral history information in public health datasets.

Genevieve B. Melton, Sharad Manaktala, Indra Neil Sarkar, Elizabeth S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Social and behavioral history is increasingly recognized as integral for understanding important determinants of disease and critical for patient care, research, clinical guidelines, and public health policies. Social and behavioral history information in the public health domain, specifically large public health surveys, has not been well described. In this study, a content analysis was performed and information model constructed and contrasted with clinically-based models for each of three widely used public health surveys: BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System), NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), and NHIS (National Health Interview Survey). Survey items were predominantly related to alcohol use, drug use, occupation, and tobacco use. Although the clinical social history information model was similar, public health social history demonstrated additional complexity in coding temporality, degree of exposure, and certainty. Our results give insight into ongoing efforts to integrate clinical and public health information resources for improving and measuring health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 2012

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