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March 12 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites public comments by May 11, 2021 on the proposed renewal of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 2022-2024. BRFSS is an annual state-based health survey, designed to produce state- or sub-state jurisdiction-level data about health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, use of preventive services, and emerging health issues.
 
CDC is requesting OMB approval to revise the information collection for the BRFSS for the period of 2022-2024. The BRFSS is a nationwide system of cross-sectional surveys using random digit dialed (RDD) samples administered by health departments in states, territories, and the District of Columbia (collectively referred to here as states) in collaboration with CDC. Traditionally, subject recruitment and interviews have been conducted by telephone. In 2022-2024, the BRFSS will introduce the option to allow participants to voluntarily complete online surveys after telephone recruitment.  
 
Designed to meet the data needs of individual states and territories, the CDC sponsors the BRFSS information collection project under a cooperative agreement with states and territories. Under this partnership, BRFSS state coordinators determine questionnaire content with technical and methodological assistance provided by CDC. For most states and territories, the BRFSS provides the only sources of data amenable to state and local level health and health risk indicator uses. Over time, it has also developed into an important data collection system that federal agencies rely on for state and local health information and to track national health objectives such as Healthy People.
 
CDC bases the BRFSS questionnaire on modular design principles to accommodate a variety of state-specific needs within a common framework. All participating states are required to administer a standardized core questionnaire, which provides a set of shared health indicators for all BRFSS partners. The BRFSS core questionnaire consists of fixed core, rotating core, and emerging core questions. Fixed core questions are asked every year. Rotating core questions cycle on and off the core questionnaire in two- or three-year cycles, depending on the question. Emerging core questions are included in the core questionnaire as needed to collect data on urgent or emerging health topics such as infectious disease. In addition, the BRFSS includes a series of optional modules on a variety of topics. In off years, when the rotating questions are not included in the core questionnaire, they are offered to states as optional modules. This framework allows each state to produce a customized BRFSS survey by appending selected optional modules to the core survey. States may select which, if any, optional modules to administer. As needed, CDC provides technical and methodological assistance to state BRFSS coordinators in the construction of their state-specific surveys. Each state administers its BRFSS questionnaire throughout the calendar year.

CDC periodically updates the BRFSS core survey and optional modules. The purpose of this Revision request is to add the following topics to the questionnaires: COVID vaccination, impact of the COVID pandemic, periodontal disease, additional questions on heart attack and stroke, disaster/pandemic preparedness, veterans' health and the use of newly available tobacco products. In addition, this request seeks approval for reinstating topics which have been included in BRFSS in the past, dependent upon state interest and funding.
 
BRFSS website: https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/index.html
Draft 2022-24 BRFSS instruments and technical documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/770jsqhwwxltnb6/AACK7YqQ4xvP0OVKYvAU8uCea?dl=0
FR notice inviting public comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/12/2021-05117/proposed-data-collection-submitted-for-public-comment-and-recommendations
 
Point of contact: Carol Pierannunzi, Senior Survey Methodologist, CDC  770-488-4609 ivk7@cdc.gov

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