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Questionnaire data

Adding extra layers of vital detail

We regularly send web-based questionnaires to around 330,000 participants for whom we have an email address. These questionnaires aim to collect new or more detailed exposure data for which longitudinal repeats are important or that collect information on health outcomes that are not available easily via linkage to electronic health records, for example chronic pain and mental health. We plan to send web-based questionnaires approximately twice each year and you can find out more below. Please note that all UK Biobank questionnaires have been redeveloped with permission from original authors and should not be reproduced. 

Overview of past and upcoming questionnaires

Overview of past and upcoming questionnaires

Diet questionnaire

  • A 24 hour dietary recall questionnaire (Diet WebQ) which was circulated on 4 occasions
  • Collaborator: Professor Valerie Beral et al University of Oxford

Cognitive function

  • A series of online puzzles and questions assessing cognitive function  
  • Collaborator: UK Biobank cognitive neuroscience expert working group

1 in 2 participants have responded to our latest online questionnaire

Occupational History

  • A detailed questionnaire assessing work history over the lifetime
  • Collaborator: Dr Lesley Rushton, Imperial College London

Mental Health

  • A questionnaire to examine lifetime and current mental health 
  • Collaborator: UK Biobank mental health outcomes expert working group

181,295

Digestive health questionnaires completed

Digestive health

  • A  questionnaire to find out why some people develop digestive problems and others do not 
  • Collaborator: Dr Miles Parkes, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge et al.

Pain 

  • A questionnaire to find out more about the types, severity and duration of chronic pain in UK Biobank participants
  • Collaborator: Professor David Wynick, Univeristy of Bristol, et al.

Food preferences

  • A questionnaire about biological and environmental factors that influence food preferences or lifestyle choices and their association with health
  • Collaborator: Dr Nicola Pirastu, University of Edinburgh, et al.

Future questionnaires

Topics for future questionnaires include:

  • Sleep outcomes
  • Neurodevelopment issues
  • Quality of life

Related publications

Proposing a new web-based questionnaire

Email ukbiobank@ukbiobank.ac.uk if you would like to submit a proposal to collect new information via a web-based questionnaire.

Proposals should include the following:

  • A strong scientific rationale for use in the UK Biobank population (e.g. giving consideration to the age range of the cohort, likely prevalence of the expected exposure/outcome you wish to measure; ability for prospective and repeated evaluation; examples of the range of research questions this measure will uniquely help to address, etc.)
  • Published evidence of the validity and reliability of the measure in population-based research settings.
  • A detailed specification of the content of the questionnaire and what is expected of the participant (e.g. time taken to complete questionnaire, special requirements or exclusions).
  • Results from pilot data, if available.

The decision to implement these proposals is based on scientific merit and will be taken by UK Biobank. Please note that, should such proposals be approved, they will need to be scheduled in with our planned activities (outlined above).

The benefit of the 24-hour diet recall questionnaire

Apart from it being relatively easy to complete – is that it’s very detailed, asking about over 250 different food and drinks. But it’s a person’s long-term diet, what you usually eat and drink, that is of most value to research. When participants complete the 24-hour recall questionnaire over and over, so you can estimate a person’s long-term diet. That’s why UK Biobank participants have been asked to complete this 24-hour questionnaire on several occasions.

Dr Aurora Pérez-Cornago, University of Oxford

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