Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Frequently Asked Questions

Q & A for Survey Participants

What is the BRFSS?

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a collaborative project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. states and territories to collect uniform, state-specific data on preventive health practices and risk behaviors that are linked to chronic diseases, injuries, and preventable infectious diseases in the adult population. Oregon has been participating every year since 1988.

Why participate in the study?

We are asking these questions so we will know how to design programs that meet the health needs of Oregon residents. The results of the survey will provide state and local Department of Health agencies with information that can improve citizens’ access to appropriate healthcare and help reduce risk behaviors that are linked to chronic diseases, injuries and preventable diseases.

Is this survey legitimate?

  • Oregon Public Health conducts a monthly telephone health survey of adult Oregonians. The interviewer should identify themselves by first name and that they’re calling for a project conducted by Oregon Public Health with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • This web page has a .gov address, these can only be issued to government agencies. Go to the CDC BRFSS website.

Why am I being called from someone out of state?

  • We are required (by statute) to follow a contractual process which is designed to be unbiased. We post contracting opportunities (Requests for Proposals) on our ORPIN website, which is the state’s procurement website. Companies submit proposals in response to the RFP. An evaluation committee reads and scores each proposal individually. The contract is awarded to the highest scoring proposal.
  • In this instance, we received several proposals, one of which was from a firm located in Oregon. Issues & Answers received the highest scoring proposal among those submitted and was awarded the contract. 

Why can’t I do the survey instead of the selected respondent?

A scientific selection process chooses one person from your household to participate in the study. To make our study accurate and to have the results represent the state as a whole, we need to speak to only that person, since his or her answers will be unique.

Why can’t I do the survey at my work number/on my cell phone?

Because of the scientific selection process, we can only conduct the survey with the selected person at the telephone number we were provided, not with any other number.

How did you get my number/address?

  • Your telephone number was chosen through a scientific process from among all the possible telephone numbers in the state. It’s very important that everyone who is selected participates in the study. This helps make sure that the results represent the state as a whole.
  • The telephone numbers were matched with addresses from public databases (i.e.,  directory listings in the telephone book, U.S. Postal database, etc.). The information is used ONLY for mailing purposes. After the mailing your name and address is destroyed. Your telephone number is kept confidential and is never associated with any of your answers.

Why are you asking me about landline/telephone and cell phone service and if I own or rent my home?

We need this information to be able to weight the data to ensure results represent the state as a whole. Get more information about weighting.