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In a typical year, the Institute is involved in approximately 40 survey data collection projects. Following are brief study descriptions of some current or recently completed projects.

South Carolina State Survey. The South Carolina State Survey is the Institute’s major on-going project. Instituted in the Spring of 1990, the State Survey is a semi-annual telephone survey of South Carolina residents age 18 or older that is designed to enable policymakers, planners and decision-makers to collect high quality survey information in a timely and cost-effective manner, without having to bear the costs of mounting a full survey. Forty-four surveys have been conducted as part of this series, and participants have included a wide range of state agencies, non- profit organizations, and others interested in public policy issues in South Carolina. Among the organizations that have included questions in the State Survey are the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Arts Commision, the South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

South Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world’s largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. Working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, each month the Institute conducts telephone interviews with a representative sample of approximately 800 South Carolina residents age 18 and older. The questionnaire used in the BRFSS interview includes items on issues such as asthma, diabetes, health care access, alcohol use, hypertension, obesity, cancer screening, nutrition and physical activity, and tobacco use. This information is used to track health risks in the state, identify emerging problems, prevent disease, and improve treatment.

South Carolina Adult Tobacco Survey. The South Carolina Adult Tobacco Survey is being conducted for the Department of Health and Environmental Control. In this study, over 5,000 adult residents of the state of South Carolina are being interviewed by telephone in order to determine their smoking habits, perceived risks of smoking, and attitudes toward policies designed to reduce smoking in the state.

Health and Environmental Exposure Study (HEER). In conjunction with researchers at the University of Missouri, the SRL is conducting interviews for a study to investigate the role that lifestyle practices and environmental factors play in the level of risk for endometrial cancer. Participants in this study are asked about diet, occupations, reproductive history, replacement hormone therapy, physical activity, other medication use, and certain environmental conditions across the states.  Questions are also asked about specific dietary information, as well as other medical and demographic factors already known to influence endometrial cancer incidence.

Public Perceptions of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. In this on-going project for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Institute is involved in monitoring the public’s perceptions of DHEC. This project was begun in 1998 when the Institute conducted a large-scale assessment of the department that involved telephone interviews with the general public and with a sample of clients who had used DHEC’s services. With these results serving as a baseline, the Institute has continued to monitor the public’s views of DHEC, including awareness of the agency, general perceptions of DHEC, use of services, and perceptions of specific aspects of service delivery, such as courtesy and attitude of staff, ability to answer questions and provide information, and waiting time for service.

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