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The Attitudes and Behaviors Surveys (TABS) on Health


TABS on Health is a population-level survey of Colorado adults to identify and understand influential factors that public health programs can address to improve the health of our state. Every 3-4 years, TABS on Health interviews 12,000 to 18,000 randomly selected adults; the most recent wave was fielded in 2012.

The surveys provide data for an ongoing, repeated-cross-sectional study of chronic diseases and health risks among Colorado adults. Since 2012, the surveys (previously the Colorado Tobacco Attitudes and Behaviors Survey) collect behavioral and attitudinal information about blood lipids, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight and physical activity, and other health-related issues as well as information related to tobacco use.

This population-level survey supports planning, implementation and evaluation of Colorado state and local programs to address health risks and chronic disease. Findings have been used to identify priority needs and gaps in the reach of evidence-based strategies; to inform strategic program planning; to explore possible mechanisms that underlie health risk and chronic disease behaviors, and to inform policy choices.

Methods

TABS on Health was administered in 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2012 with state tobacco-related revenues – tobacco litigation settlement funds in 2001, and the voter-adopted Amendment 35 tobacco tax increase in 2005, 2008, and 2012. The main survey, conducted in English and Spanish, interviews adults (aged 18+) who are randomly selected from among all Colorado households with telephones, including cell-phone households (2008 and 2012). The study recruits "extra" numbers (oversamples) of African Americans, smokers, and residents of certain parts of the state. This oversampling provides more precise information about these groups.

In 2012, TABS respondents were invited to participate in future "call-back" surveys. The first call-back survey, "Influential Factors in Healthy Living," will be administered in 2013-14 and addresses access to healthy food, health provider and workplace support of healthy living, marijuana use, and self-management of chronic health conditions.

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