Codes and Frequencies
TINPROB reports how much of a problem ringing or other noise was for respondent. In 1990, this question was asked of persons age three and older who noticed ringing in their ears or had been bothered by other funny noises in their ears or head during the previous year (TINYR). In 2007 and 2008, this question was asked of sample adults who had been bothered by ringing, roaring, or buzzing in their ears or head in the previous 12 months (TINYR).
In 1990, after inquiring about ringing in the ears and other funny noises, interviewers asked, "When it does it occur, does it bother -- quite a bit, just a little or not at all?" In 2007 and 2008, interviewers asked, "How much of a problem is this ringing, roaring, or buzzing in your ears or head? Would you say it is...?" After which, the survey form directs interviewers to read the following categories:
- No problem
- A small problem
- A moderate problem
- A big problem
- A very big problem
- Don't know
Along with universe changes, differences in the response categories for 1990 versus 2007-2008 limit comparability. In 1990, 3 categories were used ("Quite a bit," "Just a little," and "Not at all"). In later years, 5 categories were used ("No problem," "a small problem," " a moderate problem," "a big problem," and a "very big problem").
To increase comparability between the response categories for 1990 and those for 2008-2007, IPUMS NHIS uses composite coding for TINPROB. The first digit indicates codes that can be combined across years, while the second digit provides detail present in only some years. For example, the category indicating the least amount of bother was labeled "No problem" in 2007-2008 and "not bothered at all" in 1990. These categories share a common first digit of 1 in IHIS, while the second digit distinguishes "no problem" (IHIS code 11) from "not bothered at all" (IHIS code 12).
The use of proxy reporting in 1990 but not in the 2007 or 2008 surveys also somewhat reduces comparability. In 1990, a respondent representing the family could answer this question for other family members. From 2007 forward, except in rare cases where disability precluded self-reporting, sample adults themselves answered the question. Because self-reporting is likely to be more accurate than proxy reporting, researchers should exercise caution when comparing results from 1990 to results from later years.
- 1990: Persons age 3 and older who have noticed ringing in their ears or been bothered by other funny noises in their ears or head.
- 2007-2008: Sample adults age 18+ who have been bothered by ringing, roaring, or buzzing in their ears or head.
- 1990, 2007-2008