What is BRFSS:
Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System is the world's largest
random telephone survey of non-institutionalized population aged
18 or older that is used to track health risks in the United States. In
1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in
collaboration with selected states, initiated a telephone based
behavioral risk factor surveillance system to monitor health risk
behaviors. As of 1993, participation in the BRFSS has expanded
to include all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto
Rico, and the Virgin Islands. South Carolina began administering
BRFSS since 1984. The basic philosophy is to collect data on actual
behaviors, rather than on attitudes or knowledge, that would be
especially useful for planning, initiating, supporting, and evaluating
health promotion and disease prevention programs.
The BRFSS questionnaire has three components. The core questions consisting
of the (fixed core, rotating core and the emerging core), optional
modules and state added questions. The core questions have to be asked
by all the state health departments without any modification. States may use optional
modules if they wish with or without modifying the questions. In addition the State
may also include questions addressing local priorities.
from the menu to view the BRFSS Questionnaire.
on the BRFSS Questionnaire:
Here is a general list of topics that are covered in the annual
BRFSS questionnaires.The topics vary from year to year.
including general, physical, and mental heath, as well as activity lost because
of health conditions.
health care, as measured by having health insurance, being able to see a doctor
because of cost, and time since last routine checkup.
Awareness of selected
medical conditions: hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
and weight control, including eating of fruits and vegetables and experiencing
including use of seatbelts by respondents and children in their household.
and Alcohol consumption.
concerns, including screening for breast and cervical cancer, pregnancy, and prevalence
Use of other
preventive services, such as Immunization for influenza and pneumonia,
screening for colorectal cancer, and testing for HIV infection.
beliefs, and behaviors regarding sexually transmitted diseases, particularly AIDS.
demographic characteristics, including gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital
status, education attainment, employment, household income, weight and height.
the data are used : Back
South Carolina has used the BRFSS system to:
the need for and monitor the progress of prevention programs, including those
targeting tobacco use, breast and cervical cancer, injury prevention, cardiovascular
disease, and populations with disparate disease (rural, minority).
Identify the prevalence
of a sedentary lifestyle as a significant risk factor in the state and develop
programs within counties to encourage fitness activities through environmental
and policy changes at the community level.
promote communication and collaboration among other agencies and organizations
to support community efforts to improve health.
Assess the quality
of life of South Carolina residents and determine the distribution of these indicators
across subgroups in the population.
for the development of educational and environmental policy change efforts.
If you need BRFSS data that is not
available on this site, please fill out the Data Request Form and email or fax to Jennifer Baker, BRFSS Coordinator.