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Health Assessment

In Wave 1, after carrying out the face-to-face interview and the self-completion questionnaire, participants were invited to attend our health centre in Trinity College Dublin or Cork City Centre for a health assessment, at a time and date that suited them. The assessment was carried out by qualified nurses and took between 2 and 3 hours.

Volunteers demonstrate measures used in the TILDA Health Assessment

Some of the measurements taken included:

  • Height, weight and waist circumference
  • Blood pressure, lying and standing
  • Walking speed and tests of balance
  • Eyesight and hearing
  • Bone and muscle strength
  • Assessment of memory and thinking
  • Assessment of lung function

In addition, we collected blood samples if the participants agreed. Participants were not required to fast for the medical assessment.

If participants did not wish to travel to one of the TILDA Assessment Centres, for whatever reason, we offered them a shorter assessment in their own home, also carried out by a qualified, trained nurse.

By taking part in the health assessment, participants were helping in a research study aimed at improving the health of future generations. At the end of the visit, we gave a report of the results of some of the measurements undertaken to each participant - this included their blood pressure, weight and height, vision and a heel ultrasound. Also, if participants agreed to a blood sample, we sent them their lipid results in the post.

Participants of the TILDA study did not have a follow up health assessment in Wave 2. Instead, the interviewer took two physical measures during the home interview - one of hand grip strength and the other of walking speed. During Wave 3 in 2014, participants will again be invited to attend one of the centres in Dublin or Cork for a health assessment following their home interview. We aim to repeat some of the measures taken in Wave 1 to determine how people’s health has changed over the previous 4 years.