Skip Navigation

Course Directory

U.S. Based National Health Surveys: Their Application and Associated Research Methods


East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Course Instructor:
  • Carla Zelaya
Ayesha Khan

Intermediate biostatistics, basic epidemiology background. Familiarity with STATA or SAS software required.


National Health Surveys are one of the most important sources of rigorously collected health information in the U.S. Learn how to access and use large national datasets, apply survey weights, account for complex survey designs, conduct age standardization and trend analysis appropriately, and assess the quality and any limitations of data being used.

Introduces the purpose and application of national health surveys, and the strengths and limitations of this type of data. Uses publicly available survey data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), including data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to provide practical experience in accessing the data files, designing and executing basic analysis using complex survey data and determining when and how to appropriately conduct age adjustment and trend analysis. While the class utilizes U.S.-based examples, the principles and methods covered are applicable to other settings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the purpose and role of national health surveys in monitoring national health trends, setting national priorities and targets, and health program planning
  2. Identify strengths and limitations of the use of data from National Health Surveys
  3. Perform analysis accounting for complex survey design, and survey weights
  4. Identify when and how to perform age adjustment and trend analysis with national health survey data
  5. Use a National Health Survey to identify a testable research question
Methods of Assessment:

Class participation: 20%, Group presentation: 40%; Write-up of group project contribution: 40%

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Laptop required