Participant frequently asked questions

How can I become a participant?

Participants are pre-selected through a statistical process using the most current census information for Baltimore that helps us study a diverse group of Baltimore residents. This means that the neighborhoods selected will have a significant number of blacks and whites with varying incomes allowing us to sample enough people to gather the data needed for our research. Study staff will visit selected homes to provide information about the study and recruit participants. Our study staff will wear large badges identifying them as HANDLS recruiters. Please take the time to listen to the HANDLS recruiters before you decide to take part in this ground breaking study. Your participation can begin by just simply opening the door.

What are the benefits of being a study participant?

If you agree to take part in this study, there may or may not be direct medical benefits to you. We hope the information learned from this study will benefit others in the future. You may benefit by learning more about your health, or possibly from learning that you have a condition or problem that you were unaware of. This is a chance for you to gain additional health information about yourself at no cost to you. Many of the tests performed on the Mobile Research Vehicles are not commonly done at physician’s offices during routine physical exams. You will receive a Participant Report Package in the mail with results of your blood and urine test, EKG and bone scan.

How much time is involved and will I be compensated?

There are two phases of the study. The first phase takes place in your home and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. A recruiter will come to your home to talk to you about the study and ask you to join. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to respond to questions about your health, history and life experiences. At the end of the home visit, you will receive an appointment to come to the mobile Mobile Research Vehicles for a full day of testing. During your visit to the Mobile Research Vehicles, you will receive a thorough medical evaluation, as well as other testing.

At the end of the second phase, you will be compensated a maximum of $100 for your time. If you are unable to complete all of the tests, you will receive a portion of the payment up to $100.

Are there any risks in participating in this study?

The risks for this study are minimal. The bone and body scan uses small amounts of X-ray radiation to take measurements of our body. The risks from the radiation are no greater than what you are exposed to by sunlight. There is a very small risk to having blood drawn. Possible risks include infection from the needle puncture, light bruising and some people also feel faint. These risks are very small and occur only rarely.

What about confidentiality?

Public laws keep all information participants give confidential. Federal Law: the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242K) authorizes collection and section 308(d) of that law (42 USC 242m) and Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC 552A) prohibits us from giving out information about you or your family without your consent. We hold all data collected in strictest confidence. Medical records of research study participants are stored and used according to legal guidelines. Your personal information will not be identified in any reports or publications resulting from this study. We assign code numbers in place of names or other facts that could identify you. A Certificate of Confidentiality has been obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This certificate will protect the investigators from being forced to release any research data in which you are identified, even under court order or subpoena.

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