CLSA launches new wave of data collection

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

This summer, the CLSA launched a new wave of full data collection from participants across Canada.

The wave of data collection, known as Follow-up 3, includes repeat questions from previous data collection waves to allow researchers to be able to assess how the health and well-being of participants change over time.

In addition, some new questions and tests related to various aspects of participants’ physical and mental health have been added. Below is a summary of what is new in the study, the type of information that will be asked, and what to expect with pandemic precautions.

What’s new? What’s changed?

Research improves over time and there may be new and better ways to collect information and new areas of interest to researchers. For Follow-up 3, you can expect:

  • New or expanded questionnaires to collect information about quality of life, sleep, nutrition, healthcare use, sexual health and family history of disease.
  • Reintroduction of measures including elder abuse and preventative health behaviours.
  • Introduction of a web-based survey for select questionnaire topics. This will be completed after your core interview and should take no more than 30 minutes.

Before the pandemic, I participated in person. Will the CLSA be scheduling in-home interviews or asking participants to visit a Data Collection Site?

Yes, as soon as it is safe to do so. Each CLSA site will re-open based on institutional and local public health guidance. In the meantime, we will be starting Follow-up 3 interviews by telephone. Over the coming months, we hope to relaunch in-person data collection and introduce several new data collection measures:

  • Wearable technology to capture data on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, mobility and sleep
  • A new vision contrast sensitivity test that will provide data to understand the link between changes in vision and aging
  • A new assessment of olfactory function, or sense of smell
  • 3D analysis of gait speed, or how a person walks

What precautions is the CLSA taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Participant and staff safety is our top priority. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, enhanced health and safety protocols have been implemented at all our Data Collection Sites.

  • CLSA staff follow the COVID-19 safety protocols as required by their institution and local public health authority, which in most cases will include wearing a face mask, undergoing COVID-19 screening each day, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols are required at all CLSA sites, which includes wiping down high-touch areas between participant assessments and at the beginning and end of each shift.