Frequently asked questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I agree to participate but change my mind later on?

  • Participants are free to withdraw from the study at any time without providing a reason. They are also welcome to discuss any concerns they might have with a member of the research team.

How long should I fast before attending the clinic?

  • Please have nothing to eat or drink after midnight prior to your clinic visit. You may have sips of water and take any necessary medications.

How is participants’ privacy protected?

  • The research team will maintain strict measures to protect confidentiality.  Each participant will have their own unique identification number. With the exception of the document that contains personal information, which will always be handled separately, all other information will be anonymised – this means any information which can identify participants, such as their name and address or date of birth, is taken off the data and samples and is stored separately.

Are the results confidential?

  • Only authorised people are allowed to view the data. Participant’s test results will be anonymised to protect their identity. Researchers must only use the data for statistical purposes. Your information will be combined with information from other participants to prepare group statistics. Individuals will not be identified when the results are published. Once participants’ information is entered into the database, individual details such as their name will be deleted to ensure privacy.

How will the data be stored?

  • All data and samples collected will be anonymised, linked and stored to very high standards of security.  Blood samples taken for long-term storage will be sent to a highly accredited lab and stored to a very high standard of security. The personal identifying information will be separated from all participants’ data and samples and linked using a code that has no external meaning.

How long will Mitchelstown Cohort Study be holding this data?

  • The results of the study will be stored securely for a minimum of 7 years

How can I get more information about the Mitchelstown Cohort Study?

  • If you have any queries please phone Dr. Janas Harrington (Project Manager) on (021) 4205505 or Ms. Shauni Fitzgerald (Research Co-ordinator), on (021) 4205185 during office hours (i.e. 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday).

What happens if I do not want to take part in the study?

  • Participation in this study is voluntary and you are under no obligation to take part. Your decision will not impact on your normal care in the Living Health Clinic. If you do decide that you would prefer not to take part, please return the reply slip to inform us of your decision. This will prevent us contacting you unnecessarily in the future.

If I have already been diagnosed with heart disease and/or diabetes, is there much point in participating in the study?

  • The main aim of this study is to check people for diabetes (high blood sugar) and heart disease. However, it also aims to obtain updated estimates of the effects of other CVD risk factors i.e. diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, on general measures of well-being and mental health. Therefore, it is important that you participate in the study, whether or not you have heart disease or diabetes.

If a problem with my health is detected, how soon will I be informed and what happens next?

  • As soon as test results are obtained they will be returned to your GP who will, in turn, release them to you. Your GP will then advise you on the appropriate steps to be taken.

How much time will I have to complete the food frequency questionnaire and self-complete questionnaire?

  • Prior to your appointment you will receive a pack in the post which includes the food frequency questionnaire and self-complete questionnaire. Each one takes about 15 minutes to complete. Therefore, you will be provided with sufficient time to fill out the questionnaire before your appointment at the clinic.

Who will perform the blood tests?

  • Fasting blood samples will be taken to check blood sugar, cholesterol levels, liver function and kidney function by a Livinghealth Clinic practice nurse.

How do I return the blood pressure monitor and the devices used for measuring physical movements?

•If you have your 24hr blood pressure monitored, we would ask that you return to the clinic to have the device removed the following day at scheduled time. If you choose to have your physical activity measured, you will be given a free post package to mail the devices back to the clinic or asked to return the devices to the Livinghealth Clinic in person.

What if I would like to take part in the study but am not available during the week specified?

  • Please contact the research team if the appointment time does not suite and we will be happy to accommodate your schedule.