Following up on your feedback

When we asked for ideas about how we could make participating in the Study easier in our June newsletter, many of you answered that call. We wanted to get back to you and let you know how we’ve used your feedback and to answer a few of the more common questions.

We welcome your ideas. Please continue to provide your feedback to us at communications@ontariohealthstudy.ca.

Account sign in challenges

Many of you mentioned having problems with our captcha. The captcha protects our site from bots so it is important but we have updated it and replaced it with a simpler check box captcha. Captchas are a security feature that ensure that it’s an actual human on the computer and not a “bot” or a virus.

We have also made our username recovery and password reset options more streamlined with simpler instructions, and have made changes to the design of the sign in page. Check out these changes by logging in to your account!

Information about OHS research

Many of you mentioned that you would like to know more about the research resulting from the Ontario Health Study. We gave recently updated the OHS website to make it more user-friendly and streamlined the content and overall look of the website. We have added a new “Research” tab to the website which will provide you with more information about ongoing research and how your samples and questionnaire data are being used.

Blood analysis results

We had a number of emails wondering why we didn’t provide more results from the blood sample analysis. When you provide a blood sample for the Study, you may learn a bit more about your own health, and you will also be helping our research efforts. Part of the rationale for the results that we provide is that they are a relevant signal of your health so, from a research perspective, it’s very useful to track these measures over time.

Providing a blood sample at a location other than LifeLabs

We received a number of ideas around ways to make it easier and more convenient to provide your blood sample, such as through your family physician or your local hospital. While these are all good suggestions, blood samples collected for our research study are handled differently than a blood sample requested by a physician, and specific training is required. It’s very important that all of the blood samples collected by the Study follow the same procedures, or it makes research much harder to complete.  When you provide a blood sample for the Study, a specific process must be followed which includes using the correct materials (such as the types of tubes used to collect the blood) and certain protocols to process the sample after it has been collected. In addition, a portion of your sample is frozen and stored for future research purposes and this also has to follow a specific process within a very tight timeframe. Our partnership with LifeLabs ensures that when your blood sample is taken, it’s done with the proper materials and they also have the infrastructure to properly process your blood sample and transport it quickly and safely.

We have recently trained more than 100 new LifeLabs locations so while there may not have been an OHS-participating LifeLabs location near you in the past, there may be now. Visit the LifeLabs Location Finder to see an updated list of participating LifeLabs locations.