Taking Care of Business
The BC Generations Project is launching a new questionnaire and this time we want to know about all the places you’ve worked over your lifetime. Our new online Occupational History Questionnaire will collect workplace information from the nearly 30,000 British Columbians enrolled in the Project. Your answers will allow us to explore exposure risks that may be related to the work environment, such as hazardous materials or air pollution, commuting distances, or shift work.
As a longitudinal cohort study, the BC Generations Project regularly collects health information from the same group of individuals over several decades. This approach allows us to track health changes and disease outcomes across a population over time.
The information from the Occupational History Questionnaire will be added to the data we’ve already collected through previous questionnaires regarding participants’ residential history and health & lifestyle. This will create an even richer resource for research into the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases. Keep an eye out for your invitation to complete the questionnaire. In the meantime, it may be helpful to check your files to confirm employment dates and locations.
What work history should I include?
The Occupational History Questionnaire asks you to provide details about every job or occupation you have held for at least three months in Canada or elsewhere. All full-time, part-time, seasonal work, volunteer work and military service should be included.
New Research Studies Underway
The BC Generations Project is a rich resource for all types of health research. Researchers can apply for access to the BC Generations Project’s existing collection of health data and samples. They may also apply to collect new data from our participants as part of an “ancillary study” (see story, About ancillary studies). The following newly-approved studies are now underway:
Studies using BC Generations Project data and samples
A novel metabolic approach to study modifiable risk factors for cancer led by Dr. Rachel Murphy, University of British Columbia: A study using multiple measures of lifestyle and advanced technology to discover biomarkers of preventive behaviours related to reduced cancer risk. This research could enhance the development of targets for future risk reduction interventions.
Systemic Approach to Characterize Prognostic Features of Regional Lymph Node Metastasis in Oral Cancer led by Dr. Catherine Poh, BC Cancer: A study to investigate the molecular profiles of primary tumours and circulating blood markers that can be potentially used at the time of diagnosis for optimal early intervention in oral cancer.
Occupational Physical Activity and Lung Cancer Risk led by Dr. Vikki Ho, Centre Hospitalier de l’Univerisité de Montréal: A study examining whether physical activity at work plays an important role in lung cancer development. BC Generations Project data is being accessed along with other cohorts involved in the national study, the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project.
Comparative Hepatitis B Vaccine study led by Dr. Soren Gantt, University of British Columbia: A study to help evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a newer vaccine to protect against Hepatitis B virus (HBV), which may lead to permanent liver damage (cirrhosis) and liver cancer. Study participants are adults who have never had the Hepatitis B vaccine and have never been infected with HBV.
As part of enrolment in the BC Generations Project, our participants also agree to be contacted for ancillary studies. Ancillary studies are separate research studies that seek to tap into the BC Generations Project cohort to identify potential study participants. These studies involve the collection of new health research data (and sometimes samples).
If you meet the study criteria, the BC Generations Project may contact you with an invitation to join an ancillary study.
No personal information is shared with ancillary studies, and your participation is completely voluntary. If you’re interested in participating, we will ask you to get in touch directly with the research group conducting the study.
How do researchers get data access?
There is a standard request process that all researchers must follow to gain access to any part of the BC Generations Project’s vast collection of de-identified information or samples.
All studies must undergo scientific and ethical review, including Research Ethics Board approval. Access requests are reviewed by the BC Generations Project Access Committee to ensure the scientific rigour of the research and that proper legal and privacy standards are maintained.
Thanks for the update!
In Fall 2016, the BC Generations Project launched a Follow-Up Health & Lifestyle Questionnaire to collect updated information about our participants’ health status and health behaviours. New questions about mental health, marijuana and e-cigarette use were also asked.
We’re pleased to report that approximately 80% of our members completed the questionnaire. That’s currently the best return rate among our five Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project study regions.
A big thanks to all who participated!
Don’t lose touch
If you’re planning to move or change your email address, please let us know by sending your new contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604.675.8221 (toll free 1.877.675.8221).
Your data contributes to new knowledge about health and disease. See the latest published research using BC Generations Project data.