1. Purpose of the Study
Your child/ward has been invited to participate in the Youth Health Survey (YHS) conducted by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) among selected Ministry of Education mainstream schools (Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges and the Centralised Institute) in Singapore.
The aim of the study is to find out more about the health of youth in Singapore. The information collected will be used to plan and evaluate health policies, health programmes and services.
The study aims to recruit 5,000 participants across 4 mainstream schools in Singapore in early 2020 over a period of 1 year.
As your child/ward is under 21 years old, parental consent is required for him/her to participate in this study. Please read the information provided in this information page and if you allow your child/ward to take part in this study, do provide your consent with the given link available at the bottom of this page.
Following your consent for your child’s/ward’s participation in the study, the study procedures will be explained to your child/ward and his/her consent for participation will also be sought.
2. Procedures Followed in the Study
The study will comprise 2 components; the health survey, and the health screening.
Students participating in the study will complete the survey in school in a single session, in either the school computer lab or a designated room, using the school computers, tablets, or their personal devices. The survey will cover topics pertaining to health behaviours (including but not limited to physical activity, nutrition, smoking and alcohol use) and will take about 30 minutes to complete.
Students participating in the health screening will need to fast for at least 8 hours prior to the health screening and will be allowed to drink water. Reminders will be sent to you and your child to ensure that your child is prepared for the health screening session.
On the day of the health screening for your child/ward, a trained staff will conduct the following in school:
- Measurement of height, weight, waist and hip circumference;
- Measurement of blood pressure;
- Collection of a sample of about 15ml (or 1 tablespoon) of blood to test for diabetes and cholesterol;
- Collection of a sample of urine for urinary cotinine, creatinine and sodium tests.
The health screening will take about 20 minutes and upon completion, your child/ward will be provided refreshments.
Storage of Remaining Blood Sample
You will be asked if you agree for any of your child’s/ward’s remaining blood sample to be stored for future HPB approved health studies. Any future studies that use your child’s/ward’s blood will also need approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure that the health studies are ethical and scientifically sound.
You will be asked for permission to be contacted in the future for your child’s/ward’s participation in future studies that your child may be suitable for. If your child is deemed suitable for a future study, HPB will contact you to inform you about the study, and for you to consider allowing your child/ward to participate in it.
You will be asked if you agree to link your child’s/ward’s data collected to other databases to allow us to better understand the health of Singapore residents, including trends over time. If you agree, the following information may be linked with other databases:
• Personal information (Name and NRIC number)
• Data collected in YHS (Health Survey and/or Health Screening)
After the data linkage, the database used for analysis will not contain personal identifiers and will be stored for as long as the purpose of the analysis remains relevant.
3.Possible Risks and Side Effects
If your child/ward feels uncomfortable answering any of the questions, he/she may choose to skip these questions.
Obtaining blood can cause pain, bleeding, bruising, or swelling at the site of the needle stick. Fainting sometimes occurs and infection rarely occurs. Trained medical staff will be onsite to attend to any medical needs of participants undergoing screening.
4. Possible Benefits from Participating in the Study
Your child’s/ward’s participation in the YHS will help to improve the health of Singapore’s youth by enabling us to better plan and evaluate national health programmes. Past study results have been used to plan and improve health programmes and services tailored for Singapore’s youth.
Your child will receive a health screening report with a copy of the results of his/her health screening within six weeks of completion. The results include:
- Height, weight and body mass index
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar and cholesterol level
5. Important Information for Female Participants
The YHS is not expected to pose any additional risks to female participants who are pregnant other than those ordinarily encountered in daily life. Therefore, participants who are pregnant are eligible to participate in the survey. However, they will not be eligible to participate in the health screening component of the study.
6. Costs & Payments of Participating in the Study
Upon completion of the health survey, your child will be eligible for a $10 token of appreciation. This token of appreciation will be given to the child upon successful completion of the survey.
No payment is needed for your child/ward to participate in the health screening. HPB will be absorbing the cost of the screenings (worth approximately $80 per child).
7. Voluntary Participation
Your child’s/ward’s participation in this study is voluntary. He/she may stop participating in this study at any time. You may ask for your child’s/ward’s data to be removed from the YHS database for future analysis, withdraw your child’s/ward’s participation to the follow-up surveys or your consent to data linkage at any time, or request for your child’s/ward’s biological samples to be discarded or destroyed by writing to the Principal Investigator without needing to give reasons.
In the event of any new information becoming available that may be relevant to your child’s/ward’s willingness to continue in this study, you will be informed in a timely manner by the Principal Investigator or his/her representative.
Do note that the study procedures are conducted solely for the purposes of research and is not part of your child’s school assessment, and his/her participation will have no bearing on his/her standing in school.
8. Compensation for Injury
By signing this consent form, you will not waive any of your legal rights or release the parties involved in this study from liability for negligence.
The Health Promotion Board without legal commitment will compensate you for the injuries arising from your participation in the study without you having to prove the Health Promotion Board is at fault. There are however conditions and limitations to the extent of compensation provided. You may wish to discuss this with your Principal Investigator.
9. Confidentiality of Study and Medical Records
By signing the Parent Consent Form attached, you are authorising (i) the collection, access to, use and storage of your child’s “Personal Data”, and (ii) the disclosure to authorised service providers and relevant third parties. “Personal Data” refers to data about your child/ward which makes him/her identifiable (i) from such data or (ii) from that data and other information which an organisation has or likely to have access. This includes medical conditions, medications, investigations and treatment history. Research arising in the future, based on your child’s “Personal Data”, will be subject to review by the relevant institutional review board.
All information and “Personal Data” collected for this study will be kept strictly confidential, and will be managed and stored in accordance to the guidelines and regulations stipulated in the Public Sector (Governance) Act and the Instruction Manual 8 (IM8). Your child’s/ward’s records, to the extent of the applicable laws and regulations, will not be made publicly available.
Any reporting of findings (e.g. in national reports) would be done on a grouped basis such that no individual study respondents, including your child/ward, can be identified.
However, Regulatory Agencies (HSA, FDA, if relevant) and NHG Domain Specific Review Board and Ministry of Health will be granted direct access to your child’s/ward’s original records to check study procedures and data, without making any of your information public. By signing the Informed Consent Form attached, you (or your legally acceptable representative, if relevant) are authorising (i) the collection, access to, use and storage of your child’s/ward’s “Personal Data”, and (ii) the disclosure to authorised service providers and relevant third parties.
10. Who To Contact if You Have Questions
If you have questions about this research study or if you have any concerns or feedback, you may contact the Principal Investigator, Mr Daniel Lin, at HPB_YHS@hpb.gov.sg, or at 6XXXYYYY. You may also contact the Principal Investigator in case of any injuries derived over the course of this study.
The NHG Domain Specific Review Board (the central ethics committee) has reviewed the study.
If you want an independent opinion to discuss problems and questions, obtain information and offer inputs on your child’s/ward’s rights as a research subject, you may contact the NHG Domain Specific Review Board Secretariat at 6471-3266. You can also find more information about participating in clinical research, the NHG Domain Specific Review Board and its review processes at www.research.nhg.com.sg.