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Airmen encouraged to participate in Health Related Behaviors Survey

By Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs | Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs | Feb. 11, 2019

FALLS CHURCH, Virginia —
Airmen are encouraged to participate in the online Health Related Behaviors Survey that concludes Feb. 28.

The Department of Defense asked the independent, non-profit RAND Corporation to design, field, and analyze the confidential web-based survey. Westat, the survey subcontractor, will assist with data collection. Service members were randomly selected to complete a confidential health survey via the internet. The HRBS has been conducted approximately every three years since 1980 and is used to measure the health related behaviors and lifestyles of military personnel that have the potential to impact readiness.

The survey is confidential to protect service members’ privacy. This means that DOD, the services, and the service member’s chain of command will never know who has completed the survey. RAND and Westat will never provide DOD with survey responses linked to names, other personal identifiers, or military records. These procedures are in place to encourage service members to participate in the survey without fear that anyone will match answers back to names.

“This health survey is important to the DOD and the services, and I strongly encourage you to participate,” said Thomas McCaffery, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. “We use data from this survey to improve education, training, treatment, and counseling to support the services and optimize individual and overall health status and fitness.”

For those asked to participate, a secure email invitation was sent, including several follow-up reminders by mail and email to complete the survey. The survey takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete and service members are asked to be as candid as possible when responding. The survey can be completed using a government computer during duty hours or a home computer with internet access. Participants may also use a smartphone or tablet to take the survey. As in past years, a summary report with the survey results will be posted to the DOD website as soon as the final report is ready.

The results of the previous survey, which was conducted in 2015, are available at https://www.rand.org/nsrd/projects/hrbs.html.