Step 1: Select the years of data you would like included in the results table and graph. Keep in mind that not all questions were asked every year in the BRFSS. To see which variables are available for which years consult our Availability table. If you are interested in seeing which questions or modules were asked by other states please consult the CDC Historical Question search page.

Step 2: The row variable is the independent variable and will be displayed down the table. To interpret the table you will be able to say “An estimated X% of [row variable] are [column variable].” For example if you select Sex as the row variable and Current Smoker as the column variable you will be able to say “An estimated X% of Males are Current Smokers.”

Part a: Select the topic in which you are interested. Use the bar along the side of the box to scroll through all the available topics. Many variables are listed under more than one topic. For instance Current Smoker is listed under both Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 and Tobacco.  For this example, we chose Demographics as the row topic.

Part b: Once you have selected a topic, variables that are categorized under that topic will be displayed in the second box. You must select (highlight) a variable in this box in order for the query to work even if there is only one variable available for a particular topic.  For this example, we chose Sex as the row variable.

Display Don’t Know/Refused: Check this box if you are interested in having the “Don’t Know” and the “Refused” responses included in the table (they will be combined into one category). It is always a good idea to include the “Don’t Know” and “Refused” categories the first time you run a table. Do not include “Don’t Know/Refused” when using Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 variables or your results will not match other Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 results. The only exception to this is the income variable for which “Don’t Know/Refused” cannot be turned off.  For this example, we did not choose to display the Don’t Know/Refused categories for Sex.

Step 3: The column variable is the dependent variable and will be displayed across the table. To interpret the table you will be able to say “An estimated X% of [row variable] are [column variable].” For example if you select Current Smoker as the column variable and Sex as the row variable you will be able to say “An estimated X% of Males are Current Smokers.”

Part a: Select the topic in which you are interested. Use the bar along the side of the box to scroll through all the available topics. Many variables are listed under more than one topic. For instance Current Smoker is listed under both Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 and Tobacco.  For this example, we chose Smoking as the column topic.

Part b: Once you have selected a topic, variables that are categorized under that topic will be displayed in the second box. You must select (highlight) a variable in this box in order for the query to work even if there is only one variable available for a particular topic.  For this example, we chose Current Smoker as the column variable.

Display Don’t Know/Refused: Check this box if you are interested in having the “Don’t Know” and the “Refused” responses included in the table (they will be combined into one category). It is always a good idea to include the “Don’t Know” and “Refused” categories the first time you run a table. Do not include “Don’t Know/Refused” when using Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 variables or your results will not match other Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 results. The only exception to this is the income variable for which “Don’t Know/Refused” cannot be turned off.  Here we chose to display the Don’t Know/Refused categories for Current Smokers.

When you scroll down the page, you will get to Step 4.

Step 4: Step 4 is optional. If you do not select anything all populations are included in the results. If you select a population here then the table will only display results for that population. For instance if you select ages 18-24 and ages 25-29 the results will be only for persons ages 18-29 years old. Use the control key to make multiple selections or to deselect. You can subset by more than one population characteristic at a time. For instance you can obtain results just for Females age 18-24.  In this example, we subsetted for ages 18-39.

Step 5: Step 5 is optional. If you do not select anything information for all of Rhode Island is included in the results. You can display information for one county or for multiple counties or for either all Urban cities and towns or all non-Urban cities and towns. Urban includes the cities of: Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, Woonsocket, West Warwick. Non-urban includes all other cities and towns.  In this example, we did not select anything, and therefore we will be getting results for all Rhode Islanders.

Step 6:  Step 6 is optional. If you do not make any changes population estimates will be displayed in the results. The population estimate is the estimated number of Rhode Island adults per year who fall into a category.  In this example, we chose to display Population Estimates.

If you are happy with your selections submit the query. If you would like to start over use the “Clear Form” button.

Confirmation Page: After you submit your query you will see a confirmation page. Review this page to make sure that the row and column variables are correct, that there are data available for the years you requested, that the subsetting criteria, county/region selection, and additional statistics you selected are what you would like. If you would like to have a graph included in the results check the box under “Choose Output”. Here we can see that our row variable is Sex, our column variable is Current Smoker, and these data are available for all years, but we selected only the data for the years 2000 to 2002.  We also can see that we subsetted by ages 18-39, and that we chose to display population estimates, and we chose to display Don’t Know/Refused categories for the column variable.  We also chose to include a graph.  If you are happy with your selections you can submit the query. If you would like to start over use the "Back" button. 

Results Page: When you submit your query you will see a table with the information you requested. The title will tell you what years of data are displayed and what, if any, subsetting criteria are used.  Here we can see that we are looking at data for 2000-2002, and for ages 18-39.  For this example, we selected Current Smoker as the column variable and Sex as the row variable.  We therefore interpret the results as “An estimated 31% of 18-39 year old Males are Current Smokers in 2000-2002.”  If we wanted to know what percentage of Current Smokers are male, we would have to switch the row and column variables.  If you selected the graph option you will be able to view the graph by scrolling down the page.

Note that we have a “Don’t Know/ Refused” category for Current Smokers. Results from this table will only match other analyses where a “Don’t Know/Refused” category for Current Smokers was also included.

Here are some statements that can be made from this table:

Again, we can interpret the graph as “Among 18-39 year old Males, 30.9% were current smokers in 2000-2002, 68.8% were not current smokers and, 0.2% didn’t know or refused to answer the question”.  “Among 18-39 year old Females, 27.4% were current smokers in 2000-20002, 72.5% were not current smokers, and 0.1% didn’t know or refused to answer the question”.

Downloading Results: To download results from the table to a comma separated value file use the "CSV" button. To download directly to an excel file use the "Excel" button. Note that when you download directly to an excel file you also download the title and footnote information. This information is lost when downloading to a csv file. To download to a Rich Text Format file use the "RTF" button. Downloading to Rich Text Format will preserve the table and the graph as well as all title and footnote information. Tables and graphs stored in Rich Text Format can be opened as a word document and copied and pasted directly into power point presentations.

Graphs can also be copied and pasted into PowerPoint and word documents by right clicking on the graph, copying it, and then pasting into the desired document.

Return to HEALTH Web Query System-BRFS