Technical Information and Data
BRFSS POLICY MEMO 97.1
The BRFSS survey instrument is revised annually based on input from
states and CDC programs. The American Statistical Association (ASA) working
group was consulted about ways that the process of developing wording for
new questions or modifying the wording of existing questions to the survey
could be improved.
Beginning with the 1998 questionnaire, all new or substantially revised
questions to be included in the instrument must undergo formal testing at a
cognitive laboratory approved by the Behavioral Surveillance Branch (BSB).
This policy applies to questions from the core, rotating core, emerging
core, and optional modules, but not to state-added questions. If a proposed
new question or revision to an existing question has previously been tested
at a cognitive laboratory, this will generally constitute compliance with
this policy. However, BSB will make the final decision regarding the
adequacy of cognitive testing.
Information from cognitive testing will be used by BSB and states to
decide whether to accept the questions, what the final wording should be,
and to document issues relevant to data interpretation.
The costs for cognitive testing are to be absorbed by the program or
other entity proposing new questions or substantial revisions to existing