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17. Field Work

(More detailed guidelines for fieldworkers are included for those centres that wish to have extra detail and can be found in section 20)

Research staff and field workers SHOULD NOT use the terms: asthma, allergy, rhinitis or eczema when:

  • advertising the study
  • presenting written material about the study
  • speaking about the study to school staff, parents, children
  • speaking to the 13/14 year old children in the classroom

The phrases ‘breathing survey’ or ‘a health survey’ are acceptable terms to use or ‘This is a survey about health and/or the environment’.
The title of the questionnaires must not include the words asthma, allergy, rhinitis, eczema or Global Asthma Network. Coding instructions for data entry should not appear on the questionnaires delivered to the children or their parents, although coding boxes ‘for office use only’ are recommended (see example section 20).

13/14 year olds
An information letter and/or a consent form will be sent home for the adolescent group. The adolescent group will complete the written and video questionnaire in class at school. Each session will comprise verbal instructions on the questionnaires before handing these out, and instructions to leave the video questions until the video is shown.

The written questions concerning the scenes in the video are completed by the adolescents while the video is being shown. The video questionnaire must always be shown after the written questionnaire. In presenting the video, there must be adequate equipment with sufficient visual and audio quality to ensure all participants see it well and hear it correctly. Height and weight measurements (strongly recommended) are then taken (see section 7 and section 20.4).

If questionnaires have clearly not been completed in a comprehensible fashion, then they could be re-presented to the person who originally completed them for one further attempt. The research worker should not give advice about the responses that might be given (see section 20.6 for guidelines for fielding questions). Once the questionnaire is completed, it must not be changed by research workers under any circumstances (except for incorrect demographic details which may be corrected with the help of pupil, school staff or school records). Following completion of the written & video questionnaires the adolescents will then be asked to take questionnaires home for parental completion.

6/7 year olds
Once eligible 6/7 year olds are identified, the field workers will send the questionnaires to the parent/guardian either through the school or by post or by email. The parent/guardian will be asked to return the questionnaires by a mechanism which incurs no financial cost to them. Some centres may prefer to have an online system of questionnaire completion. Height and weight measurements (strongly recommended) are taken at school when the questionnaires are returned (see section 8 and section 20.4).