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Healthy Communities


What is BRFSS?

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a phone survey that gathers data about the health of Arkansan adults aged 18 years and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the survey in collaboration with other states in the 1980s after research showed that personal health behaviors play an important role in increasing illnesses and deaths. The Arkansas BRFSS was initiated in 1993. The BRFSS is conducted in each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and surrounding U.S. territories. Today, the BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health survey in the world and it is an important tool for measuring adult health behaviors.

Who is selected for the survey?

BRFSS randomly selects adults 18 years and older who live in Arkansas. Adults are identified through a random generation of home telephone numbers using a computer program to select households. Each year, thousands of households in Arkansas are selected this way for adult participants. In addition, adults are also selected through a random generation of cellphone numbers. If a physical address is identified for a selected household, a letter is sent providing advance notification of selection to participate in the survey. Cellphone numbers do not receive advanced notification.

How do I know that the survey telephone call is not a scam?

The Arkansas Department of Health currently contracts with a reputable consulting company that completes the telephone calls. The interviewer will state that the call is made on behalf of the Arkansas Department of Health. Interviewers have all been trained on CDC protocols. If you have any questions regarding the legitimacy of the telephone call, please contact the program coordinator at 501-661-2003.

What information is collected on the survey?

BRFSS collects data on personal behaviors (e.g. smoking, drinking, exercise, weight, preventive medical care) linked to the leading causes of death (e.g. heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, injury) and other important health issues. The interviewer conducts the survey with the selected adult within a household and lasts about 15-20 minutes. If the selected household member is not available, the interviewer will schedule a convenient time to call back.

How are BRFSS data used?

Various programs within the Arkansas Department of Health, as well as other organizations, use information received from the survey for such purposes as:

BRFSS Query System

Office Address Phone Fax
Health Statistics 4815 W. Markham St., Slot 19
Little Rock, AR 72204
501-661-2003 501-661-2544

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved.
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867