Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Program


To collaborate with 50 states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on survey administration and data analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey.

2011 Accomplishments and Milestones

  • Conducted the survey
  • Included interviews with people on cell phones for the first time ever.
  • Worked with CDC to implement a new weighting method that more accurately represents the data from the survey. Previously data were weighted only for age, gender and race/ethnicity. The new methodology, raking, allows for the incorporation of cell phone survey data, allows for the introduction of additional demographic characteristics (education, income, home ownership), and more accurately matches sample distributions to known to the US Census data.

Answer the survey - if you are selected

Your participation is vital. Your confidential answers help us plan and evaluate the health of Rhode Islanders. If your number is selected you will have the opportunity to represent your needs and the health needs of people like you. We appreciate your assistance.

What We Do

  • Collaborate with states and CDC to determine the questionnaire content of the core component and possible optional modules more.
  • Convene the Rhode Island Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Advisory Committee to review criteria for adding questions to BRFSS (optional modules and state-added questions) and review requests for adding questions to the survey, annually.
  • Monitor survey data collection activities. The Rhode Island survey data collection is conducted by a third-party contractor, ICF International. Interviewers are conducted seven days a week using standard protocol.
  • Provide state-specific analysis about health issues such as asthma, diabetes, healthcare access, alcohol use, hypertension, obesity, cancer screening, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco use, to federal, state and local health officials, and researchers to track health risks, identify emerging problems, prevent disease, and improve treatment.