The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) : complex sampling weights and preparing 2018 BRFSS module data for analysis
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The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) : complex sampling weights and preparing 2018 BRFSS module data for analysis

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      The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based telephone survey that collects data on a number of health outcomes, health-related risk behaviors, use of preventive services, and chronic conditions from noninstitutionalized adults who reside in each of the states and participating US territories. In 2011, BRFSS changed its data collection procedures, structure, and weighting methodology so the traditional landline telephone-based data set could include data from participants using cell phones. The BRFSS uses a core set of questions and gives states the option to include multiple modules that focus on specific health issues. Not all optional modules are collected by all of the states, and states may opt to collect module data from just subsets of their survey participants. Core questions are used during all interviews. Researchers using BRFSS data should conduct analyses with complex sampling procedures; they also should appropriately stratify and weight the data in their work. Potential bias resulting from selection probabilities and noncoverage among segments of the population can be reduced through weighting.

      Researchers conducting analysis of variables from the core-only section should use the variable _LLCPWT for weighting.

      BRFSS has created this document to guide users analyzing variables from 2018 BRFSS optional modules and/or combinations of module and core variables. The 2018 BRFSS data sets include data that respondents provided by landline telephone or cell phone. Data users should note that newer weighting procedures are likely to affect trend lines when comparing BRFSS data collected before and after 2011; because of these changes, users are advised NOT to make direct comparisons with pre-2011 data, and instead, begin new trend lines with that year.


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