Awareness of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service: Results from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
Established in 1975, the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service (CIS) is a national information and education network that serves the nation by providing the latest scientific cancer information to the American public. The purpose of this study was to determine the public's awareness of the CIS and other national cancer and health organizations by analyzing data from the NCI's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 2003). This study also examined sociodemographic, health, and communication correlates of awareness of CIS and other national health organizations: American Cancer Society (ACS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and NCI. Results indicated that awareness of the CIS was low (32.8%). Some subgroups were more likely to be aware of the CIS than others. When comparing awareness levels of the four national health organizations, marked differences in patterns of awareness among specific subgroups emerged for many sociodemographic variables. For example, minority groups were significantly more aware of the CIS than Whites; however, for all three other organizations a greater percentage of Whites were aware of each organization. For the NIH, NCI, and ACS, respondents in the highest income group were most aware of each organization and, as income level increased awareness also increased. The CIS, respondents with the lowest income levels, however, were more aware of the CIS compared with middle- and high-income groups. A similar pattern was found for other sociodemographic variables. Results of this study will guide the development of a targeted promotional campaign for the CIS.