Collecting Biomarkers Using Trained Interviewers. Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study

Stephanie L. McFall, Anne Conolly, Jonathan Burton


This paper reports the design and outcomes of a pilot study for the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), Understanding Society, to develop and test the feasibility of collection of biomarkers by trained non-clinical interviewers. Feasibility tests performance of procedures, that they are technically satisfactory and reasonable in relation to alternatives. The dimensions reported are recruitment and training of interviewers, completeness, acceptability and time required for data collection, and quality of the biological samples. Some comparisons are made with measures conducted by nurses in wave 2 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study, Understanding Society. Biomeasures included anthropometrics, blood pressure, grip strength and the collection of saliva and dried blood spots. We implemented measurement protocols, introduced training and certification of interviewers, who then collected data from 92 participants. The study produced information about duration of collection, participation and quality of blood and saliva samples. The pilot study informs the design decisions about the biosocial component of Understanding Society


survey design, data collection, biomarkers, feasibility

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