Working from lists of people who trained or worked in some aspect of the oil spill response, the GuLF STUDY will contact potential participants by mail, inviting them to take part in the study.
The study was developed to make participation as easy and convenient as possible. In addition, the GuLF STUDY incorporates safeguards to protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information.
All participants will be asked to complete an initial telephone interview, and provide updated contact information once a year. During the telephone interview, participants will be asked questions about the work they did with the oil spill cleanup, and about their health, lifestyle, and job history. About 20,000 participants will be invited to take part in the second phase of the study, which involves a home visit and follow-up telephone interviews in subsequent years. Small samples of blood, urine, toenail clippings, hair, and house dust will be collected during the home visit, and clinical measurements such as blood pressure, height and weight, urine glucose, and lung function will be taken.
If at any time in the course of the study, the need for mental or medical health care is evident, participants will be given information on available healthcare providers or referred for care. The study leaders have up-to-date information on healthcare providers and a medical referral process in place as part of the study. Materials will be available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The NIH is funding the GuLF STUDY. A small part of the funds have been provided by BP made to NIH specifically for research on the health of Gulf area communities following the spill, though BP is not involved in the study.
|Contact: Christine Bruske Flowers|
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences