Core Components of Survey

The BRFSS survey is composed of three main sections:

  • Core Component
  • Optional Module
  • State-Added Questions

All states must ask the core component questions without modification.

States may choose to add any, all, or none of the optional modules and state-added questions after asking the core component questions.

Core Component

Core questions are considered and discussed during the Annual BRFSS Conference. Organizations can submit core questions to be added through the Core Question Proposal System. New questions can be proposed for inclusion in the fixed core, the rotating core, or the emerging issues section.

  • Fixed Core Questions
    • Questions that are asked every survey year
  • Rotating Core Questions
    • Questions that are asked on a rotating schedule, typically every other year
  • Emerging Core
    • Questions that the CDC did not necessarily plan for when constructing the survey but determine within the survey year that there are certain questions that need to be asked to capture this extra information

Optional Modules

The Optional Modules section of the Questionnaire comprises CDC generated modules (standardized questions on various topics) from which a state may select to include as part of their questionnaire. A selected module must be used in its entirety and asked of all eligible respondents. If an optional module is modified in any way (e.g., if a question is omitted), then the questions will be treated as state-added questions.

State-Added Questions

States are encouraged to gather data on additional topics concerning their specific health priorities by using state-added questions. Questions should be evaluated for reliability, validity, and suitability for use in a telephone survey. Often, pre-tested questions from other surveys are available.

Select a year from the menu to view the BRFSS Questionnaire.

BRFSS Question Search: Search for BRFSS questions asked in any year. Users can search by year, section title, module, variable name, or keyword.


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