TILDA fieldwork involves interviews using computer-aided personal interviewing (CAPI) techniques and either a visit by the respondent to a TILDA Health Assessment Centre, where appropriate medical measurement facilities were available, or a visit to the respondents' home by a qualified research nurse to take physical measurements and bio-medical samples. All respondents are also requested to fill out a self-completion questionnaire.
Participants first completed a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) in their own homes. Detailed information on all aspects of the respondents’ lives was collected in the CAPI, including the economic dimension (pensions, employment, living standards), health aspects (physical, mental, service needs and usage) and the social domain (contact with friends and kin, formal and informal care, social participation).
Each participant was also asked to complete and return a questionnaire designed to explore certain areas that were considered particularly sensitive for respondents to answer directly to an interviewer (e.g. relationship quality, loneliness, stressful life events, anxiety, worry and alcohol intake). 6,910 respondents aged 50+ completed and returned the self-completion questionnaire.
After completing the CAPI part of the survey, each participant was then invited to travel to one of two health centres (based in Dublin and Cork) for a comprehensive health assessment. Participants who were unable / unwilling to attend a health centre were offered a modified and partial assessment in their own home. Health assessments were carried out by qualified and trained research nurses. Cognitive, cardiovascular, gait and balance and vision measurements and tests were taken in the health assessment. Of the 8,175 participants aged 50+, 5,897 underwent a health assessment (85.4% in the health assessment in Dublin or Cork and 15.6% in their own home).