Boston Health Study Boston Public Health Commission


1) Who is the sponsor of the study?


The Boston Health Study is sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission.


2) Why is this survey being conducted? What is the purpose of the study?


Since 1999 the Boston Public Health Commission has been evaluating the health of Boston residents by conducting this survey. The survey asks Boston residents about a variety of health topics such as chronic diseases and health insurance, and behaviors that impact one's health. The Boston Health Study is based on the Centers for Disease Control's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) project which is conducted annually in every state in the U.S. Over 350,000 adults participate in the BRFSS annually, making it the world's largest health survey.


3) What is the survey about?


This survey asks some general questions about your health, such as if you have been told you have asthma, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. It also asks about behaviors that affect your health, such as smoking, exercise habits, eating habits, frequency of doctor's visits, etc. If there are questions you wish not to answer, you can refuse an individual question and still participate in the study as a whole.


4) How did you get my address?


Your household was randomly selected from a list of residential addresses in Boston. Your participation will help represent your community.


5) What is the information used for?


The data will be used to help guide and fund public health programs that serve to improve our overall quality of life. Most people do find the survey interesting and no identifying information will be connected to the responses you provide.


6) Who should complete the survey?


The person in your household who is 18 years or older with the next birthday has been selected to complete this survey. This is a method of random selection and is important to make sure that the experiences of all types of people are represented.


Eligible household members include all adults (aged 18 years or older), who consider the household their home, even though they may not be home at the time of the call. These do not need to be related family members, and may include roomers and live-in domestic workers.


Household members do not include adult family members who are currently living elsewhere (at college, a military base, a nursing home, a correctional facility, etc.).


7) How long will the survey take?


On average it should take approximately 27 minutes to complete.


8) Whom should I contact with questions?


Please direct any questions to or dial 855-654-9163.


If you have additional questions about this study, you can call Johnna Murphy, at the Boston Public Health Commission. Her number is 617-534-2369.


9) Will my privacy be protected?


There is no identifying information gathered during this survey that is used in the final report. Your address is separated from your responses after the data has been collected and compiled.


10) Can I complete the survey over the phone?


Yes. Anyone who does not complete the survey online will receive a phone call from our survey call center in the coming weeks.