Home Use The Data Methodology Links & Resources BRFSS

In the 1980's, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started conducting what would soon become the largest telephone survey in the world. Now known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), every state is mandated to interview residents on a multitude of health risks and behaviors. Respondents are asked questions concerning tobacco use, alcohol use, physical activity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, cholesterol awareness, etc. At first, the total number of interviews collected within each state allowed the data to be reliable only at the state and national levels. However, over time, many states realized the importance of collecting stratified data within predefined geographic areas within the state. This increased number of interviews, now allowed the states to reliably compare different areas.

Beginning in 1994, Heartland Health of St. Joseph (now Mosaic Life Care) wanted to use BRFSS data to not only to assess the health status of local residents, but also have reliable local level data that could be compared to state and national BRFSS data. Unfortunately at that time, the state of Missouri was not conducting enough telephone interviews in the desired areas (Andrew & Buchanan Counties). Therefore, Heartland Health set out to fund and collect the data themselves. In 1997, Heartland Health contracted with the Missouri Department of Health to conduct a point in time study of residents in Buchanan County. A total of 668 interviews were conducted. The release of that data allowed Heartland Health and other local organizations to report reliable data and use that data in numerous grant applications. Because of the response of the initial study, Heartland Health made a commitment to continue collecting local BRFSS data.

Since the initial 1997 study, Mosaic Life Care and the St. Joseph and Buchanan County Health Department have partnered with LAN Resources, a St. Joseph based Research Company, to conduct similar point-in-time BRFSS studies. The study has since been conducted in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Starting in 2011 interviews were conducted every month of the year, a change from previous years.

The purpose of this website is to allow the data to be used by all interested parties. The data from all point-in-time studies is included.

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