Working Group



BACKGROUND: The North Dakota Department of Health receives funds in a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate a state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) that is conducted on a calendar year basis.

As part of this cooperative agreement with CDC, each state has the opportunity to add questions to the BRFSS survey to meet state-specified needs. In order to add state questions, certain procedures must be followed and resources provided to analyze the data. CDC financially supports data collection for the core sections, but does not provide a full analysis of the data.

The North Dakota BRFSS work group was created to formalize and strengthen relationships with individuals, programs and agencies (both public and private) that are interested in the North Dakota BRFSS. More specifically, this group provides input into the North Dakota's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System activities. The creation of the work group concept has received strong support from the CDC Behavioral Surveillance Branch.

WORK GROUP COMPOSITION AND ACTIVITIES: The work group is comprised of program representatives within the North Dakota Department of Health as well as other state agencies, health-related organizations, private medical providers, university researchers and non-profit organizations interested in adding questions to North Dakota's survey and utilizing the results for program planning. The work group facilitates the acquisition of timely, accurate and useable health-status and health-risk behavioral data on North Dakota adults using the BRFSS survey. More specifically, the work group:

  • Participates in questionnaire development (i.e., content and length).
  • Makes recommendations for modifications of the BRFSS sampling design.
  • Makes recommendations regarding the analysis and reporting of the current data.
  • Makes recommendations regarding the criteria for adding questions to BRFSS (optional modules and state-added questions) and reviews proposals for adding questions.
  • Monitors status of current data collection through updates from the BRFSS program director.

Discussion occurs among the work group and input from the group regarding final decisions is considered; however, final decisions are the responsibility of the BRFSS program director.

TIMEFRAME AND SUBMISSION PROCESS: Using procedures and criteria established, all requests for additional data items must be submitted electronically to the BRFSS program director in July of the year preceding the upcoming year’s BRFSS survey. North Dakota's Program Contribution & Proposal Submission Policy and Data Need Proposal Form are available for downloading in PDF format. For an electronic version of the Data Need Proposal Form, please contact the BRFSS Program Director.

Requests for inclusion of additional data items are reviewed and acted on by the state BRFSS Work Group and the BRFSS program director. Consultation also may occur with the data collection contractor and the CDC.

Under normal circumstances, optional modules and state-added questions will be added at the end of the questionnaire to avoid biasing any responses to core or optional module questions.

CDC approval is required to place any module or state-added question within the core. Core questions take precedence. No questions will be added that may adversely affect the response or refusal rates of the survey.

For additional information about BRFSS or the procedures for adding questions to the survey, contact the BRFSS Program Director.