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10 Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) Data

Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) Data

Original source: Public Health Unit
Distributed by: Public Health Unit
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
RRFSS [month, year – month, year], Extracted: [month,year]

Data Notes

  • The Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) is an on-going telephone survey occurring in various public health units across Ontario. On a monthly basis, a random sample of 100 adults aged 18 years and older is interviewed regarding awareness, knowledge, attitudes and risk behaviours of importance to public health, such as smoking, sun safety, use of bike helmets, water testing in private wells, etc.
  • The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University conducts the survey on behalf of all RRFSS-participating health units.
  • Denominators with a cell size less than 30 should not be released. Numerators with a cell size less than 5 should not be released.
  • Coefficients of variation (CVs) are also used to inform decisions about release of the data (CV between 0 and 16.5 - Estimate can be released without qualification; CV between 16.6 and 33.3 - Estimate can be released with qualification: Interpret with caution.  High variability; CV greater than 33.3 - Estimate should not be released, regardless of cell size).
  • Weighting – the general household weight will be applied where applicable (this weight compensates for the different probability of being selected, depending upon the number of adults in the household)
  • "Don’t know" responses will be analyzed if the cell size is greater than 5.
  • "Refused" responses will be analyzed if the cell size is greater than 5.
  • Because RRFSS is not available in all health units, RRFSS is most often listed as an alternative data source. In a few exceptions, RRFSS is the sole data source because no other source is available and the indicator is considered an important was sufficiently important population health indicator, often because it addresses one or more outcomes identified in the Ontario Public Health Standards.

 References and Resources

  1. RRFSS Website. URL:

 Changes Made


Type of Review (Formal or Adhoc)

Changes made by


June 26, 2009


Healthy Eating Active Living subgroup

Revised to reflect RRFSS guidelines.


Lead Author

Jennifer Skinner, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

Contributing Author(s)


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