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Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance Survey Frequently Asked Questions

What is this survey about?

We are interviewing adults 18 years of age and over about behaviors associated with the major causes of death and disability. Participants will be asked questions about smoking, immunization, use of car seats and bike helmets, cancer screening, safe water and more.

What is the goal of the RRFSS?

The major goal is to provide timely, useful data for planning, monitoring and evaluating local public health programs and services. See the RRFSS website for more information about the survey.

What's in it for me?

The data will be used to improve programs and services for all residents of Simcoe County.

Why is this survey needed?

The purpose of RRFSS is to provide timely data relevant to local public health needs. RRFSS is used to monitor key public health issues and is flexible so information can be collected on issues that are of immediate concern. The results from RRFSS are used to support program planning and evaluation, to advocate for public policy development, and to improve community awareness regarding the risks for chronic diseases, infectious disease and injuries.

How did you get my telephone number?

Scientific procedures were used to select a random sample of telephone numbers within the county. A computer program generated all telephone numbers. We have no way of knowing whose number we are calling.

Who will be interviewing me?

On behalf of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the Institute for Social Research at York University may phone and ask for participation in this survey. The Institute for Social Research was chosen because of its expertise in conducting telephone surveys.

Who will see this information?

After the survey information is collected, it will be sent to the health unit. The results will be analyzed and used by the health unit to plan programs and activities directly related to the health problems identified by this survey. The survey results will be available on our web site at In no way will the published results identify any person.

What agencies are involved?

The Institute for Social Research at York University collects the data on behalf of health units. The number of individual health units participating in RRFSS can change from year-to-year, this document provides the list of the different health units that have participated in RRFSS over the years.

How do I know the survey is legitimate?

The survey is an important effort of all participating health units. We need to learn more about the behaviors of our adult population so that health promotion programs can be more effectively developed.

If you receive a call and you want to verify that this is a legitimate survey, contact Your Health Connection, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

How long will it take me to answer all of the questions?

It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete the survey. If an interviewer calls and you don't have the time, an appointment can be made for a day and time that is more convenient for you.

What if I don't feel comfortable answering a question?

If you don't wish to answer a question, let the interviewer know and they will go on to the next question. You may refuse to answer any questions.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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