Reproducibility of the women's module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire

Ann Epidemiol. 1996 Jan;6(1):47-52. doi: 10.1016/1047-2797(95)00092-5.


The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is designed to provide statewide estimates of the prevalence of preventive health practices, including screening. We assessed the reproducibility of responses to the women's health module, which covers breast and cervical cancer screening, hysterectomy, and pregnancy. A random sample of women in Massachusetts (n = 91; response rate for the repeat interview, 70.0%) and a separate random sample of minority women in the state (n = 179; response rate for the repeat interview, 69.4%) were interviewed by telephone twice, 21 to 94 days apart. Differences across administrations in mean prevalence of screening were small. Concordance exceeded 85% for almost all the variables examined, but tended to be lower for nonwhite respondents. After correction for agreement occurring by chance, moderate to excellent values of kappa (range, 0.41 to 0.86) were observed. The women's health module of the BRFSS questionnaire yields highly consistent group mean estimates of prevalence when administered repeatedly to the same individuals. Individual reproducibility is excellent, but may be reduced among minority respondents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Incidence
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*