Education Materials

Mount Sinai Hospital is a University of Toronto patient care, teaching, and research centre.
Mount Sinai Hospital is a University of Toronto patient care, teaching, and research centre.

Influenza Cohort Study For Seniors

What is it about?

This is a small pilot study that will help us learn whether it is possible to conduct a study with seniors using the internet to collect information about acute respiratory infections (colds).

Who is being asked to participate?

  1. adults who are 65 years and older as of September 01, 2011
  2. are in generally good health
  3. live independently (alone, with your spouse, or with your family)
  4. have daily access to the internet and an email address (and are comfortable using them)
  5. are planning to spend most of your winter in Canada

What will I need to do if I agree to help out?

  1. Fill out an online questionnaire about yourself, your home, and leisure-time activities
  2. Fill out short online questionnaires every week from November to April or May to report any symptoms of a cold - and about every 5th week - to report possible exposure to people ill with colds
  3. Tell us if you get your influenza vaccine
  4. When you get a cold
    1. take nasal swabs and send them to us be tested and
    2. fill out online illness diaries to tell us how you feel and whether you were around other people who were ill
  5. Consider giving us 2 samples of blood (1 at the beginning & 1 at the end of the study) to measure you immune system's reaction to influenza (this is optional, but helpful)

How long will the study last?

The study will last from the beginning of influenza activity (usually around the first of November) until the end of influenza activity (usually around the end of April, but sometimes a few weeks later).

Are there any risks to participating?

There are no medications required and no physical risks to participating. Having a nasal swab is uncomfortable. If you choose to allow blood specimens to be taken, a few people may have some pain and bruising at the site.

Who can I contact to find out more?

Call Kristy at 416-586-4800 ext. 2767 or email her at

A member of the study staff will then arrange to talk to you in detail about the study so you can decide whether or not you wish to participate.

This website has been made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Canada Inc.
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