Online Program

Comparison of cell phone versus land-line respondents in the Georgia behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS), 2011

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Madhavi Vajani, MPH, Epidemiology Section, Georgia Department of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Francis Annor, MPH, Epidemiology Section, Georgia Department of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
A. Rana Bayakly, MPH, Chronic Disease, Healthy Behaviors, and Injury Epidemiology Section, Georgia Department of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Cherie Drenzek, DVM, MS, Epidemiology Section, Georgia Department of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Background: BRFSS is a state-based telephone survey designed to collect information about health risk behaviors, clinical preventive practices, and access to healthcare and utilization. Traditionally, interviewers made calls to land-line (LL) telephone numbers only. However, the numbers of cellular phone-only (CP) households in the U.S. have increased by more than 700 percent during 2003-2009, prompting the CDC in 2011 to include households with CP in the BRFSS to obtain data that better represent the population. Methods: The Georgia BRFSS is an annual telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults 18 years and older. We analyzed the 2011 BRFSS data for Georgia(n=9,960) and compared LL-only(n=9023) and CP-only(n=937) households on demographic characteristics, certain risk behaviors, and chronic diseases. Results: CP respondents were significantly more likely to be males (CP=58%,95%CI=54.4–61.7vs.LL=49%,95%CI=46.6–50.5), Black/Non-Hispanic (CP=35%,95%CI=31.4–39.0vs.LL=28%,95%CI=26.3–29.9), aged 18-34 years (CP=63%,95%CI=59.5-66.4vs.LL=36%,95%CI30.3-34.7), and without a high school diploma (CP=23%,95%CI=19.2–26.5vs.LL=17%,95%CI=15.8–18.8). Overall, the prevalence of risk behaviors was higher among CP respondents than LL respondents. Approximately 29%(95%CI=25.8–32.9) of CP respondents were smokers compared to 21%(95%CI=19.2–22.6) of LL respondents. Alcohol consumption was significantly higher among CP(60%,95%CI=56.2-63.9) than LL respondents (48%,95%CI=46.2–50.2). A larger proportion of LL households (74%,95%CI=71.9–76.3) had some form of health coverage compared to CP households (54%,95%CI=50.0–57.9). Chronic disease prevalence also differed from LL to CP households. LL respondents had higher prevalence of diabetes (LL=11%,95%CI=10.1–12.0vs.CP=5%,95%CI=3.5–6.1), and obesity (LL=30%,95%CI=28.0–31.6vs.CP=24%,95%CI=20.7-27.1), and were more likely to have had a previous heart attack (5%,95%CI=4.1–5.4vs.CP=2%,95%CI=1.5–3.3). Conclusion: Overall, the population in Georgia varies from cellular-only to landline-only household respondents in regards to demography, prevalence of chronic diseases and certain risk behaviors.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Compare the differences between cell phone and land-line behavioral responses in Georgia using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2011. This is particularly important since the BRFSS implemented a new statistical methodology in 2011 to begin including cell phone users in the data.

Keyword(s): Chronic Diseases, Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Coordinator for the Department of Public Health/Epidemiology Section in the State of Georgia. In addition, it is my role and interest to present the data of Georgia using the BRFSS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.