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Data Sources—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

The National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) is a comprehensive national overview of quality of health care in the United States. It is organized around four dimensions of quality of care: effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, and patient centeredness.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP).


BRFSS is administered as a telephone interview. Computer-assisted telephone interviewing has been used since 2004. State data may be collected directly by the State health department or through a contractor. In 2007, 12 State health departments collected their data in-house; 42 contracted data collection to university survey research centers or commercial firms.

Survey Sample Design

BRFSS is a State-based system of telephone health surveys of adults age 18 and over who reside in households with telephones. Random-digit-dialed (RDD) probability design was used initially. Disproportionate stratified sample (DSS) design has been implemented since 2003 and the number of States using DSS is increasing. In the DSS design most commonly used in the BRFSS, telephone numbers are divided into two strata, high density and medium density. Strata are sampled separately. Telephone numbers in the high-density stratum are sampled at the highest rate. In 2009, 50 States and the District of Columbia used DSS design. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands used RDD design.

One resident household was chosen if a selected telephone number reached a household. One adult in the household was randomly selected to be interviewed.

Primary Survey Content

The objective of BRFSS is 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.

The survey consists of core questions asked in all States, standardized optional questions on selected topics that are administered at the State's discretion, a rotati