Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

health research man in kitchen

In 1984, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting data on health-related behaviors and preventive services. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is now the largest continuously running health survey system in the world. CDC conducts these health-related telephone surveys in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 U.S. territories. BRFSS data are used to monitor national- and state-level trends in health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, access to care, and use of preventive services.

ICF has been conducting the BRFSS since 1990. We have supported data collection in 23 states and dozens of counties and cities over this period - more than any other company - and currently support 8 states and multiple cities in yearly BRFSS data collection. To adapt to the ever-changing survey research landscape, ICF has been at the forefront of piloting new sampling and data collection methodologies; collaborated with CDC to revise and improve the BRFSS disposition system; developed a BRFSS small area estimation model for CDC; and, co-authored many presentations and papers. By investigating alternative ways to maximize response rates and collect data from a representative sample, we are helping to ensure that BRFSS remains a sustainable data collection system.

Over one million completed BRFSS interviews later, ICF continues to collect the data used to plan, implement, and evaluate programs to improve the health of millions of people nationwide.