Your involvement in The Million Women Study is important to us and your answers are vital. The following are guidelines to help you fill out the Million Women Study questionnaire.
Why do I have to use blue or black ink to fill out the questionnaire? Although each and every questionnaire is checked individually by a member of the Million Women Study co-ordinating centre staff, the questionnaires are also read electronically. The equipment we use to analyse the replies on the Million Women Study only recognises blue and black ink.
Why do I have to use crosses for my answers? The verification equipment used to check each questionnaire is better at recognising crosses than it is at recognising ticks. Don’t worry if you have used ticks on the questionnaire already, as the questionnaires will be checked by a member of the Million Women Study co-ordinating centre staff. We would ask you however, to use crosses to mark your answers where possible.
I would like to include some more information than I can fit on the questionnaire. Can I attach a note? Sometimes, there may be questions that you feel may require a little more explanation in their answer. For example, you may have a condition which you do not take prescribed medication for but you think is relevant to your current state of health. The Million Women Study co-ordinating centre staff would appreciate it if you let them know this on a note attached to the questionnaire.
Can I be sure that everything I write on my questionnaire will be kept confidential? All information provided to the Million Women Study is treated with absolute confidentiality and used for medical research only. Staff at the Million Women Study have over 25 years of experience in handling confidential information of this type and all information is stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act. No personal details are passed on to any commercial organisation. The Million Women Study methods have been approved by over 120 Local Research Ethics Committees throughout the UK.
What if I can’t remember? Some of the questions on the questionnaire ask you about things that you might have difficulty remembering. For example, things that happened in your childhood, details about your parents, or dates of past illnesses. Even if you cannot remember the exact details, an approximate answer is very valuable for the study—just give as much information as you can.
What if I am unable to or do not wish to fill in the questionnaire? The Million Women Study is purely voluntary, so you do not have to fill in any questionnaires if you do not want to. Whether or not you take part will not affect your health care in any way.
What if I am changing my address but wish to stay in the Million Women Study? Simply attach a note to the questionnaire when you return it to the Million Women Study co-ordinating centre, or send a letter to the address on the contacts page which is also featured on the questionnaire.