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District of Columbia
HRSA Region I
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HRSA Region VIII
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HRSA Region X
Survey instrument item number for children 0-5 years: A5-A28, A33; for children 6-11 years: A5d,e, A6-A29, A34 (2017), A7d,e, A8-A31, A36 (2018); for children 12-17 years: A5e,f, A6-A29, A34 (2017), A7e,f, A8-A31, A36 (2018)
Variable name in public use data file: ALLERGIES; ALLERGIES_CURR; ARTHRITIS; ARTHRITIS_CURR; K2Q40A; K2Q40B;
BLOOD; BLOOD_CURR (2017); K2Q46A; K2Q46B; K2Q61A; K2Q61B; CYSTFIB; CYSTFIB_CURR (2017); K2Q41A; K2Q41B; DOWNSYN; DOWNSYN_CURR (2017); K2Q42A; K2Q42B;
GENETIC; GENETIC_CURR (2017); HEART; HEART_CURR; HEADACHE; HEADACHE_CURR;
SUBABUSE; SUBABUSE_CURR; K2Q36A; K2Q36B; K2Q60A; K2Q60B; K2Q37A; K2Q37B; K2Q30A; K2Q30B; ANYOTHER; ANYOTHER_CURR; K2Q35A; K2Q35B; K2Q31A; K2Q31B; K2Q43B; BLINDNESS
Children age 0-17 years
Children who do not have current or lifelong health conditions; Children with one current or lifelong health condition; Children with two or more current or lifelong health conditions
Revisions and Changes:
In 2018, the follow-up question "whether the child currently has the condition" was dropped for children who were ever told that they have a blood disorder, cystic fibrosis and a genetic or inherited condition. Instead they asked "if the condition was identified through a blood test done shortly after birth". For more information about the changes, click here.
27 conditions were included in the scoring of this measure: allergies (food, drug, insect or other), arthritis, asthma, blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or hemophilia), brain injury/concussion/head injury, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, Down Syndrome, epilepsy or seizure disorder, genetic or inherited condition, heart condition, frequent or severe headaches including migraine (3-17 years), Tourette Syndrome (3-17 years), anxiety problems (3-17 years), depression (3-17 years), behavioral and conduct problem (3-17 years), substance use disorder (6-17 years), developmental delay (3-17 years), intellectual disability (3-17 years), speech or other language disorder (3-17 years), learning disability (also known as mental retardation) (3-17 years), other mental health condition (3-17 years), Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (3-17 years), Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) (3-17 years), hearing problems, and vision problems. This measure was derived from responses to two questions about each of 21 (2018) – 25 (2017) health conditions (except hearing problems, vision problems, blood disorders (2018), cystic fibrosis and genetic (2018), genetic/inherited conditions (2018)) and Down Syndrome (2018) asked in the survey: (a) whether they have ever been told by a health care professional or educator that the child has the condition, and (2) whether the child currently has the condition. In 2017, both questions were asked for each of 25 conditions except hearing and vision problems. In 2018, the follow-up question "whether the child currently has the condition" was dropped for 3 conditions: blood disorders, cystic fibrosis and genetic or inherited conditions. Data on whether the child currently has Down Syndrome or not is not released in the 2018 public use file. These 4 conditions were included in scoring of the "current condition" composite measure because the conditions are considered to be lifelong (current) conditions. Children were grouped according to the number of conditions they currently have: none, one, or two or more.
Please note that in the NSCH, all information about children's health conditions is based on parent recollection and is not independently verified.
Treatment of Unknown Values:
Missing values may be due to non-response (i.e. a skipped item) or a “don’t know” response. The way these items are handled can vary by measure. For NPMs and NOMs, having missing values for all items in an indicator will lead to the case being given a missing value on the overall measure. For some other measures, if there is a missing value on any of the items, the case will be set to missing. How missing values are handled is documented in the "Additional notes" field above when required.
Missing values are not included in the denominator when calculating prevalence estimates and weighted population counts displayed in the Interactive Data Query results table. In the majority of cases, the proportion of missing values is less than 2%. Exceptions are noted in the form of a Data Alert at the bottom of a results table. The exclusion of these values does not change the prevalence estimates (%) and only marginally affects the weighted population counts (Pop. Est.). To learn about the impact of the missing values on the population count estimates, click here.
History and Development:
The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funds and directs the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), and develops survey content in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau and a Technical Expert Panel. The Technical Expert Panel consists of experts in survey methodology and children's health, federal and state stakeholders, clinicians and researchers. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the survey, oversees the sampling, and produces a final data set of survey results. Respondents' cognitive understanding of the survey questions was assessed during the pretest phase of the survey redesign (in 2015) and reassessed after the 2016 survey; subsequent revisions were made. Previously validated questions and scales are used when available. The manuscript "The Design and Implementation of the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health" provides detailed information about the redesign of the NSCH, administration of the first redesigned survey (2016), and the sampling and administration changes for the 2017 and 2018 NSCH.
Prior to 2016, the NSCH and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs were each conducted three times as interviewer-assisted telephone surveys using random digit dial sampling. In 2016, the two surveys were combined into a single annual self-administered questionnaire. Due to decline in the number of households with landline telephones, the NSCH now utilizes an addressed based sampling method to select participating households, thus all invitations are sent by mail. Participants may choose to complete the survey either online using a secure website or a mailed paper version of the survey.
All final data components are verified by the Census Bureau, HRSA/MCHB and CAHMI/DRC staff prior to public release. More information about the survey can be found in the "About the National Survey of Children's Health" section of this website and HRSA's MCHB website.
C.I. = 95% Confidence Interval.
Percentages and population estimates (Pop.Est.) are weighted to represent child population in US.
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Data Source: National Survey of Children’s Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. https://mchb.hrsa.gov/data/national-surveys
Citation: Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2017-2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) data query. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).Retrieved [mm/dd/yy] from [www.childhealthdata.org].
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U59MC27866,National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Initiative, $4.5M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position of or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.