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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Assessing Risky Behaviors and Preventing Illness
There are many sources for statistical data about risky behaviors and their impact on health.

To complete this exercise,
  • Select a particular risk and compare the results for this risk across sources.
  • Examine three of the sources listed below and
  • Answer the questions about the results

  • The National Survey on Drug Use and Health
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control WISQARS system
  • NCHS report on Leading Causes of Death
  • NCHS Injury data

Considering the risk factor you selected.
  • Which source provided the most current data?
  • Were there any differences in the results, conclusions or inferences that can be stated?
  • Which source provides the most “actionable” information that can be used to improve public health?
  • Which source provided the most detailed information?
  • Which ones provided state or local data?
  • For each source, identify the principal sources of uncertainty. Then consider how this uncertainty is measured and reported.
  • Which sources allow users to create displays that match their needs?