East Hawaii News

DOH Announces BRFSS to Begin Monday

January 16, 2015, 9:23 AM HST
* Updated January 16, 9:29 AM
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The Hawai’i State Department of Health, in collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is scheduled to begin its 2015 phone survey for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System on Monday, Jan. 19.

As the largest ongoing health survey in the world, the BRFSS 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.”

More than 6,000 adult residents are needed to participate in the survey, but concerns about telephone scams may be problematic and prevent people from participating in the health survey, according to DOH officials.

The following information is offered by the DOH to residents who may be called to participate in the BRFSS health survey.

  • DOH has contracted SMS Research to conduct the survey. Calls to Hawai’i residents’ home and cell phones will be made between noon and 9 p.m. every day of the week, including weekends. The survey is expected to last 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Any working Hawai’i telephone number may be selected to participate in the survey, unlisted numbers included.
  • The caller ID will be a local phone number and will read “SMS Research”.
  • You will not be asked for personal information, including things involving 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.

In addition, the DOH wants to inform potential participants that no personal health data will be shown in the survey report. Data will be aggregated and compiled with other population data so that no individual health data is revealed.


For nearly 30 years Hawai’i has participated in the BRFSS. The survey contacts adults ages 18 and over and covers topics ranging from healthcare access and use of preventative health services to emerging health issues.

To view the 2013 BRFSS survey questions and reports, visit the State of Hawai’i Department of Health website.

Additionally questions or comments about the BRFSS can be directed to the DOH via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (808) 586-8051.

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