Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Systems
Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance systems are routine surveys especially useful for monitoring chronic diseases and health-related behaviors. Two of the national surveys conducted in the U.S. are the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The YRBS and the BRFSS ask high school students and adults respectively, about health-related behaviors such as substance use, nutrition, sexual behavior, and physical activity. Results from these surveillance systems can be used to monitor trends in health behaviors, plan public health programs, and evaluate public health policies at national and state levels. For example, YRBS results have shown a decline in youth smoking from 36% in 1997 to 20% in 2007 ( MMWR 2008).