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Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
Established in 1984 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Behavorial Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a comprehensive health behavior survey that allows for the collection of standardized and detailed information on various health indicators. The state-level system results in the availability of state-to-state comparison data and the compilation of national estimates.

Comprised of standard core and optional module questions prepared yearly by the CDC, the BRFSS can be tailored with added indicators to address local concerns. The local BRFSS has been expanded to include comprehensive local measures of asthma, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco use, as well as knowledge about healthy behaviors, awareness and use of local resources, and local social marketing.

The local BRFSS is a point-in-time survey conducted via telephone interviews of randomly selected adults aged 18 years and older from randomly sampled, telephone-equipped city of Cleveland households. A representative of the CDC is responsible for sample selection via telephone exchanges, while survey administration is completed by trained researchers at ORC Macro International, Inc., a nationally recognized Opinion Research Corporation Company experienced in state BRFSS administration. The local BRFSS is generally implemented over a seven to eight week period between the months of July and October. The average interview completion time is 25 minutes, and the overall response rate for all phone numbers called ranges between 26% and 29%.

All participants’ answers were aggregated and weighted to correct for unequal probabilities of selection into the sample, differential non-response rates, and differential coverage rates. The data were then expanded based on Census population figures so that the sample responses approximate population estimates and represent all local adults.

All sample selection, survey administration, and weighting procedures are consistent with CDC-established protocols. After survey administration, a final dataset is delivered to researchers at the Center for dataset cleaning, coding, and analysis.
In February 2012, the PRCHN, along with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health, released a series of Cleveland Neighborhood DataBriefs. These statistical public health publications group Cleveland neighborhoods and provide prevalence estimates for diabetes, hypertension awareness, and obesity using five years of local survey data. Previously, these measures were only available for the city of ClevelandThe data briefs group together Cleveland neighborhoods and provide prevalence estimates for diabetes, hypertension awareness, and obesity for these neighborhood groups by using five years of local survey data. This new research reveals trends and differences by neighborhood group, age, race and sex among Cleveland adults.  The local survey data comes from the BRFSS. You can download the Cleveland Neighborhood DataBriefs on our Reports and DataBriefs page.