What do I get out of being involved in the study?
Each time you come along to the clinic, you receive a free health examination that will help you to know more about your current health. This information can also be passed on to your doctor if you wish. Even if you do not feel as though you have any health concerns now, the health examination will help to keep you informed about your health.
The local community also benefits through the use of information provided by participants, as health care providers such as general practitioners, hospital doctors, nurse educators and community health workers learn more about the changing needs of the population.
The research evidence from the study also assists the wider Australian and international community by contributing to the pool of knowledge about chronic conditions and associated risk factors.
How did you get my phone number and name?
To build the cohort, we randomly selected people from the telephone book. At that time, all we knew was the name, address and telephone number of the selected household. Within the household, we randomly selected one person. This way we got a random sample of males and females, young and old, migrants and Australian born, of all levels of health.
The study describes the whole community and so we need representatives of all types of people. At Stage 1, we didn't know your details before we called you, but we are able to get a good selection of all kinds of people when we take a large sample this way. Everyone is important to the study.
Who will see my personal information?
Your personal information, including the test results, is kept confidential. Each time you agree to attend the clinic, you will be given information that will tell you what information will be collected and why. Each time you visit the clinic, you will be given a copy of your results and if you agree, a more detailed set of results will be sent to your doctor so that you can discuss any concerns you may have with them. No details that can identify you are made public. The overall results of the study are grouped together and presented as a summary of the health of people in the north-west region of Adelaide.
Do I get the results from my clinic appointment?
Yes, every participant is sent the results of their clinic tests a few weeks after their appointment. With your consent, we also forward a copy of these results to your general practitioner. We encourage all participants to discuss their results with their doctor.
I don't have any health problems so I won't be much use to the study.
Many people in the community have very good health so they rarely see a doctor or go to hospital. The health system doesn't see these people or know enough about why they are healthy. By studying healthy people as well as those who are not, we can understand the differences between them, and we can then help all people to improve their health.
I work most of the time. Can I come to the clinic before or after work, or on a weekend?
Clinic times have been designed to suit the needs of participants, including Saturday morning appointments. Only morning appointments are available because of the need to fast for the blood test. Please mention your requirements when the interviewer calls and they will find a clinic time that suits you. We also offer home visits or visits to aged care facilities, to meet the changing needs of our participants. We realise that many people are very busy but they are no less important to the study. Your involvement can still make a significant contribution to your community’s health.
I'm on medication for a condition. Do I still take my medicine before I come to the clinic?
If you feel uncomfortable with missing your medication, then please take it as usual. We would prefer that you did not take it so that the blood test is accurate, but don't take a risk by not taking medication if you are concerned about the consequences.
I already see the doctor a lot because I don't have good health. Why will seeing you help?
There are many people who need health attention. The random sample will let us know how many people in the community are in need of attention, and how we can change health practices to manage their illnesses. Your participation will have a benefit to the community as well as giving you more information about your health. The examination at the clinic will give you information on numerous aspects of your general health, not just the conditions you are having treated.
What is involved with the clinic tests? Will I have to take my clothes off?
The clinic tests are not very invasive. The most you will have to do is roll up one sleeve to give blood. The tests are listed on the test page.
Do I have to give blood? I hate needles.
The tests are voluntary. Giving blood will help us with the study, but if you don't want to then we will respect your wishes. There are many advantages of having the blood test. The blood test gives more accurate and complete information on your health than most other health tests. If you want to know more about your health, we would recommend that you have the blood test.
Webpage last reviewed: March 2013