A pilot study was launched in 2007 to test the Elfe study’s feasibility and acceptability. Today, we continue to track around 300 families living in the following regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (Savoie, Isère, Loire, Ardèche), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (Yonne, Nièvre, Côte-d’Or, Saône-et-Loire), Hauts-de-France (Somme, Oise, Aisne) and Île-de-France (Yvelines, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne). This year, new families are being invited to join the pilot study.
Thanks to all the families involved in the pilot study, Elfe’s organization is continually being fine-tuned to ensure that each stage goes as smoothly as possible for all concerned, from the way the parents are contacted to the way the information we collect is used.
This pilot study provides an opportunity to check the study’s feasibility, validate the methods on a small scale, and then adapt them to the different stages rolled out at national level. Invaluable lessons have been (and continue to be) learned at the logistical, organizational and scientific levels, concerning data collection tools, the transport and storage of biological samples, and the types of questions that are asked.
Survey now underway: we catch up with the children as they turn 10 or 11
In spring 2018, parents will be asked to take part in a new telephone survey and a home visit. New families will also be invited to join the pilot study.
Meeting the children at home will allow us to measure their height and weight, assess their respiratory function, and give them computer games to test their memory and attention span. Children will also be posed questions about their everyday lives and perform exercises to measure their physical fitness and motor abilities. In addition, families will be asked to undergo biological sampling in a laboratory so that we can study various biological markers of their children’s health or look for certain pollutants.
Focus on the biological sampling at 10-11 years
This operation will rely on clinical biologists working in the families’ nearest medical laboratories to collect samples of the children’s blood, hair, urine and saliva. These samples will enrich the health data we have been collecting from the families since their children were born.
The laboratories will immediately measure blood fat and sugar levels, and send the results to the children’s family doctors. The remaining samples will be frozen until they are needed for research projects. The analyses conducted for research purposes will tell us which substances the children are exposed to, so that we find out how their health is affected, and give us a clearer picture of their health status.