DOH statewide survey to begin Monday – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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Jan. 16, 2015                                                                          15-003
Residents Urged to Participate in
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey
HONOLULU – On Monday, Jan. 19, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will start its 2015 phone survey for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The survey is the largest ongoing health phone survey in the world and provides critical data for improving public health both within the state and nationwide.
“The state needs this information to continue working with our national partners to combat chronic disease and other serious public health issues,” said Tonya Lowery St. John, DOH epidemiologist for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We’ve contracted SMS Research, a local market research firm, for this year-long project and are urging adult residents to complete the survey when they receive the call from SMS on their home phone or cell phone.”
The state needs more than 6,000 adult residents to participate this year; however, concerns about telephone scams may prevent people from participating in this legitimate health survey. DOH offers the following tips for residents who may be called to participate in the state’s BRFSS health survey.
·       DOH has contracted SMS Research to conduct the survey. Calls to Hawaii residents’ home phones and cell phones are made between noon and 9 p.m., every day of the week, including weekends. The survey usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
·       Any working Hawaii telephone number may be selected to participate in the survey—unlisted as well as listed numbers.
·       The caller ID will be a local phone number and will read “SMS Research”.
·       You will not be asked for personal information, such as information about your bank or other financial institution, credit card or debit card information, or Social Security number.
·       You WILL be asked for your household income bracket (not the exact amount).
No one’s personal health data is shown in the survey report. All participant data is aggregated and compiled with other population data so that no individual health data is revealed.
Hawaii has participated in the BRFSS since 1986 or nearly 30 years. The survey contacts adults over 18 years old and covers topics ranging from healthcare access and use of preventive health services, to emerging health issues.
The 2013 BRFSS survey questions and report are available at:
Questions or comments about Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System may be directed to the Hawaii Department of Health via email at or by phone at (808) 586-8051.
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Janice Okubo
Communications Office

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