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Military Health System

2015 Health-Related Behavior Survey for Active Duty Service Members

Questions and answers about the 2015 Health-Related Behavior Survey for Active Duty Service Members.

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2015 Health-Related Behavior Survey Active Duty

What is the purpose of the 2015 DoD Health-Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS)?


This survey assesses the health-related behaviors and lifestyles of military personnel that have the potential to impact readiness. The survey results will be used to monitor service members’ needs, develop policies, and improve health programs and services for military members and their families.


How long is the survey?


This survey takes about 40 minutes.


Who is doing this study?


The Department of Defense (DoD) asked the RAND Corporation and its data collection contractor, ICF International, to conduct an independent, objective assessment of Service members’ health status and health-related behaviors.


Who is the RAND Corporation?


RAND is a private, nonprofit organization that conducts research and analysis to help improve public policy and decision-making.


Who is ICF International?


ICF is a leading consulting services and technology solutions firm. ICF manages the technical aspects of the web survey operations and can help you with any computer or technical problems. 


Why did you pick me?


You were randomly selected from all Active Duty and Coast Guard personnel to represent your Service branch in this important research.


How did you get my name?


We obtained your name from the Defense Manpower Data Center [DMDC], which maintains DoD personnel records. Because we are doing an official, approved DoD survey, DMDC was authorized to give us military members’ names and contact information for research purposes only. We are just using your name to send you information about the survey via email and mail. Study staff will NOT link your survey responses to your name or a survey ID code. The survey is anonymous.


How will the survey findings be used?


RAND will report survey findings in a way that does not identify individuals to the Services, DoD, or the public. The information you provide will be combined with that from other military personnel to prepare statistical reports. At no time will your individual data be reported.


Why should I participate?


This is your chance to be heard on issues that directly affect the health, well-being, and readiness of military members and their families. The survey results will help inform DoD of potential health problems in the military and help suggest ways to solve or prevent them. 


Will my answers be kept private?


Yes. As noted earlier, this survey is anonymous. This means that RAND and ICF will not give DoD information about who participated in the study, or match your individual responses on this survey with your name, identity, military records, or a survey identification code. DoD has agreed to this condition to protect your privacy.


Can I complete the survey during duty hours on a government computer?


Yes. The Service Chief endorsement letters posted on the survey website indicate that you can use a computer at work to do the survey.


What do I do if I experience any discomfort or distress from filling out the survey?


Some questions on the survey are sensitive in nature and it is possible that you may feel discomfort in answering one or more of these items. If you are having any suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately. We encourage you to contact your unit’s chaplain or a mental health professional. Other resources can be found below:

Military OneSource is a free 24 hour service that is available 7 days a week to provide a full range of services, across the deployment cycle, to military personnel and their families, at no cost. They can be reached at: 

  • Stateside: CONUS: 1-800-342-9647 
  • Overseas: OCONUS Universal Free Phone: 800-3429-6477 or 703-253-7500 
  • Collect from Overseas: OCONUS Collect: 703-253-7599 
  • En Español llame al: 877-888-0727 / TTY/TDD: 866-607-6794

DoD Safe Helpline provides worldwide live, confidential support, 24/7. You can initiate a report and search for your nearest Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC). You can find links to Service-specific reporting resources and access information about the prevention of and response to sexual assault on their website or by calling the hotline at 1-877-995-5247.

Military Crisis Line can also provide confidential support and consultation if you feel distressed. They can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 (then press 1).


Do I have to take the survey?


The survey is entirely voluntary, though we hope you will recognize its importance and make time to complete it. If you choose to take the survey, you may stop at any time. 


Did I already answer these questions in earlier DoD surveys?


Some Service members may have completed surveys like this one in the past. This survey is conducted approximately every three years to get a comprehensive update about the health behaviors of military members. Since DoD wants to understand trends in members’ experiences in the Services, it is important that you take the 2015 Survey to tell us about your current health.


Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about the survey?


For Computer, Technical or Survey Questions:

  • Call the ICF Survey Helpdesk
  • Toll-free Phone: 1-844-430-9640
  • Send an email

For Questions about the Overall Study:

Contact RAND via email

For Questions about your rights as a participant in this study: 

Contact the RAND Human Subjects Protection Committee at 1-310-393-0411, ext. 6369 in Santa Monica, California.


What do I need to do to fill out the web survey?


You should go to the 2015 HRBS website listed in the mail or email invitation you received. If you have problems accessing the website, contact th ICF Survey Help desk listed in the FAQ titled "Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about the survey" above.


Do I have to complete the web survey in one sitting?


Yes. Please try to complete the survey in one session. To protect your privacy, if you stop before you are finished with the survey, you will need to start the survey over from the beginning when you come back to the website.


Will I ever see the results of the survey?


Yes. When the survey results are available, an executive summary will be available.

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Last Updated: August 16, 2022
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