What kind of questions will be on the questionnaires?
Each questionnaire is different, and many participants look forward to seeing what new questions are being asked. Questions may include:
- Demographic data
- Medical history
- Health-related behaviors
- Occupational information
- Residential information
- Reproductive history
Participants may also be invited to participate in substudies on specific topics, such as pregnancy. Participation is completely optional, but many nurses welcome the opportunity to contribute to increasing knowledge about health issues that are important to them. For example, our Mobile Health Study is using smartphones and Fitbits to measure physical activity, sleep, and participants’ neighborhood environments.
Will I be required to answer every question?
On occasion, you may decide you do not feel comfortable answering a particular question. This is perfectly fine. You may skip any questions you do not feel comfortable answering or feel you cannot answer accurately. While we hope you will answer the questionnaires to the best of your ability, any information that you can provide will be valuable.
What has changed since NHS3 started?
The study is always changing and adapting to reflect what we learn from your questionnaires. We collect information on occupational and environmental factors and, moving forward, will be focusing on environmental health to an even greater degree. We are also taking advantage of modern technology to collect data using smartphones and apps.
Do I need to be invited to participate?
No, you do not need a special invitation to join Nurses’ Health Study 3. Anyone who is eligible can participate. We hope you will help us spread the word.
I was a nurse, but I am retired/not currently working. Am I eligible?
Yes! We hope you will join us.
When does the study end?
The Nurses’ Health Studies are longitudinal cohort studies, and each study follows its participants throughout their lifetimes. The original Nurses’ Health Study began in 1976 and is still going strong, with more than 90% of those enrolled still actively participating!
How many surveys are there to fill out?
We will send you questionnaires every six months, and your response to each is critical to increase our knowledge and help the health of nurses everywhere. We may invite you to complete additional questionnaires aimed at learning more about specific life stages (pregnancy, for example) or specific health conditions.
Are all of the questionnaires the same?
No, the study and questions change to reflect what’s happening in participants’ lives—they adapt to you. How you answer questions could suggest new research initiatives to us or could indicate to us that particular questionnaires would be relevant to you.
Are medications, procedures, or tests required?
No, participants only provide information about health and lifestyle. We will not ask you to use any medications or undergo any procedures aimed at treatment or prevention of disease. We may invite you to contribute biological samples (such as blood or urine) to our biological specimen repository, which can be used to understand the underlying causes of health conditions.
Will I need to change my lifestyle?
No, we want you to live your life as you normally would and then tell us about it by completing the study’s questionnaires.
Will I have to pay for anything?
No, participation does not cost anything. The information you provide will be an invaluable gift to other nurses worldwide and for future generations.
I have an unusual medical history. Do you still want me to participate?
Yes! We hope everyone who is eligible will join NHS3. Occasionally, participants who have already had a major illness may not be asked to complete later questionnaires. But joining and completing the first questionnaire is very important!