Background: Large birth cohort studies are extremely valuable in assessing associations between early life exposures and long-term outcomes. Establishing new birth cohorts is challenging due to declining participation rates. Online methods of data collection may increase feasibility, but have not been evaluated thoroughly.
Objective: The primary objective of the ongoing PRegnancy and Infant DEvelopment (PRIDE) Study is to identify exposures during pregnancy and in early life that may affect short-term or long-term health of mother and/or child. In this manuscript, we aimed to evaluate methods of recruitment and online data collection applied.
Population: Dutch women aged ≥18 years in early pregnancy.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Methods: Initially, only prenatal care providers recruited participants, but alternative recruitment methods were added as a result of disappointing participation rates, including collaboration with "Moeders voor Moeders" (organisation that visits women in early pregnancy) and Facebook advertisements. Data on demographic characteristics, obstetric history, maternal health, life style factors, occupational exposures, nutrition, pregnancy complications, and infant outcomes are primarily collected through Web-based questionnaires at multiple time points during and after pregnancy. Additional data collection components include paternal questionnaires, blood and saliva sampling, and linkage to medical records.
Preliminary results: By September 2019, 9573 women were included in the PRIDE Study, of which 1.3% completed paper-based questionnaires. Mean age of the women analysed was 30.6 years, 71.1% had a high level of education, 57.2% were primiparae, and mean gestational age at enrolment was 9.9 (range 3, 37) weeks, with slight differences between recruitment methods. Pregnancy outcome was known for 89.8%. Retention rate at 6 months after the estimated date of delivery was estimated at 70%. Multiple validation studies conducted within the PRIDE Study indicated high data quality.
Conclusion(s): Although challenging and time-consuming, online methods for recruitment and data collection may enable the establishment of new birth cohort studies.
Keywords: PRIDE Study; birth cohort; eHealth; epidemiologic methods; internet; pregnancy.
© 2019 The Authors. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.