Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
In 1990 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kansas Department of Health and Environment conducted the first phone-based Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. For short we call ourselves BRFSS ("Ber Fuss"). Since that time, the survey has been helping inform health policy in our state.
We conduct telephone health surveys year-round to adults randomly selected. Some Kansans may mistake an unsolicited survey call for a scam attempt. Our calls are legitimate and participation is vital. This page has been established to:
- answer frequent questions,
- encourage participation and
- share the results from the survey.
Each year we try to complete between 10,000 and 20,000 surveys with Kansas residents. Do not forget to read our overview (PDF)!
- Who can participate?
- non-institutionalized adults
- 18 years and older
- living in private residence or college housing
- How do you get my phone number?
We receive a set of computer-generated random phone numbers with Kansas-specific area codes. These are produced from all working phone numbers, both listed and unlisted.
- I am on the "Do Not Call" list. Why am I still getting calls?
The "Do Not Call" list is for companies trying to market or sell products to the public. We are calling to do a health survey and are not trying to sell you anything.
- How do I know I am taking part in a legitimate survey?
- We call from phone numbers starting with 785-296, 785-291 or 785-368.
- We do not ask for your name or address.
- You can review past survey questions here.
Still have questions, you may can call and speak to a Survey Supervisor at 1-866-445-1429.
- How long does the survey take?
The survey usually takes about 20 minutes, but it can depend on how you answer each question. If it gets too long or you need a break, we can schedule a call back time.
- Who is doing the interview?
We supervise interviewers at our location who administer surveys, ensuring quality control, confidentiality and the collection of high-quality data.
- What will I be asked?
Previous survey questions can be read here. Data is collected for more than 40 characteristics that describe health.
- Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes, it will be kept confidential.
- Who sees the information I share?
The survey is completely anonymous, and we combine your answers with everyone else's. This means that your data can never be tracked back to you. Additionally, those that analyze and use the data are never able to see individual responses.
- Will services I receive from the state be affected by my taking part in the survey?
No. Services you receive from the State of Kansas will not be affected by your taking part in the survey. In fact, no one will know you took the survey unless you tell them.
- Why do you need my information when I am healthy?
Our questions help determine potential health problems for certain health conditions. So, it is important that people in good or excellent health as well as those in poor health have a chance to answer questions.
Phone numbers are randomly selected. Our interviewers are trained to ask a series of questions about major health topics. All answers are private. The total time that it takes to complete the survey is about 20 minutes but varies a little with each person. Each year there is a set number of surveys we must complete. Once we reach that number, we combine the answers of everyone who took part. With all the results combined we then do statistical tests and data analyses. After the analyses is complete we prepare and present it in a variety of ways.
Public health professionals, colleges, universities, private organizations and researchers pay for the questions asked in the survey, then work to analyze and use the information. The analyzed information helps in:
- Assessing health needs
- Detecting health problems
- Planning health programs
- Tracking and monitoring changes to health behaviors and diseases
- Evaluating health programs
- Identifying at-risk groups of people
- Applying for grants and projects
- Making funding decisions