The ATR is launching one of the biggest national initiatives in its 30-year history to streamline services to its key supporters – twin members and researchers.
Every active ATR member, or over 70,000 twins, will be invited to participate in the Australian Twins Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire.
According to ATR Director, Professor John Hopper, the questionnaire is designed to increase understanding of our members’ health and lifestyle plus enable more and broader twin research.
“With more information, we can streamline our services to members, enhance their study experiences, keep our costs down, and support even more vital health research,” he explains.
The roll-out of invitations begins late 2013 and Professor Hopper encourages all members to complete the questionnaire.
“This is one of the most important initiatives in our history and the outcome will shape the ATR for future generations.
“With this information we can stimulate new research into areas of importance to our members, researchers, and the wider Australian community,” he says.
When does it begin?
Invites will begin being emailed to members from late 2013. But it may take up to a year for every member to receive an invite. The ATR is staggering the project over time to enable it to process the incoming new information while ensuring regular services are maintained.
What does it involve?
You will be invited to answer an online questionnaire that takes about 30 minutes. Questions will relate to your health, lifestyle and family e.g. education, ethnicity, and medical conditions such as cancer, back pain and heart disease.
What will be the benefits for members?
Researchers can conduct more vital research with flow-on benefits for members. For example, we can reduce the burden of time on members by ensuring repeated questions are not asked by different researchers (e.g. place of birth, ethnicity, zygosity). We can also reduce unnecessary study approaches to ineligible members (e.g. researchers interested in a particular disease can approach already-known twins with this condition).
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Photo: The great strength of the ATR is the diversity of its members – identical and non identical twins of all ages. Here ATR Chair, Vince Pollaers, meets non identical twins, Luke and Rohan Whitby, and identical twins, Angela King and Elena Gatt.