Aim and Background

OMEGA-NET aims to make an inventory of all active cohorts in Europe which can be used to explore occupation, work related exposures, employment and health relationships. Gradually the inventory will be expanded to include cohorts globally. The inventory is primarily for research purposes but will also be useful for policymakers.

There are abundant population-based cohorts in Europe and globally with sample sizes ranging from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands that have collected information on occupation or employment. In addition, there are industry/occupation based cohorts and intervention studies in the work environment. OMEGA-NET has as its prime aim to support the use at European level (and gradually globally) of data generated by past and ongoing cohort studies. The development of an inventory is a first and important prerequisite for such exploitation.

Which cohorts will be included in the inventory?

Inclusion criteria will be flexible, but the focus of the inventory will be on cohorts that:
1. Are active or can substantiate that their data is potentially accessible;
2. Information on occupation and/or industry or at least one occupational exposure (see questionnaire);
3. Have at least one follow-up (Note: cross-sectional studies will not be included, but intervention studies and nested case control studies can be included);
4. New studies with planned follow-ups can be included;
5. The inventory is not limited to European cohorts and cohorts from other continents will be encouraged to register and participate;
6. Inclusion of a cohort will initially be reviewed and accepted by the WP1 coordinators.

How will information be collected?

All information to be included in the inventory will be extracted from the cohorts using the web-based OMEGA-NET Inventory Questionnaire. European (and gradually global) cohorts will be identified through systematic web-based searches and personal records. Researchers responsible for the cohorts will be contacted through electronic means and asked to register and complete the web-based questionnaire. If necessary, OMEGA-NET will contact directly researchers and assist with the completion of the questionnaires. Each cohort PI will be assigned an electronic password by the WP1 coordinators.

Who will use the inventory?

1. Researchers, to enable more effective exploitation of existing studies. For example, researchers looking to pool their data with other European cohorts will be able to assess easily which cohorts may be suitable for such pooling.
2. Policy makers, to enable them to identify cohorts that can provide information, specifically on occupational exposures.

How will the information collected for the inventory be used?

The inventory will be stored in a searchable web database. Users will be able to search for specific exposures and outcomes, and extract information on the cohorts that have data for the specific topic as well as basic information on the methods used to collect data. For example, users interested in shift work and sleep, will be able to search the database and extract a list of cohorts that include or collect these exposures with some basic details about the exposure assessment method used. At the end of the project, a publication will be prepared with an overview and description of European cohorts. Representatives from all cohorts included in the inventory will be invited to participate in this publication.

How long will it take me to complete the inventory?

Completing the online inventory should take approximately 20 minutes.

If you do not have time to complete the entire inventory form at one time, you may save your entered data (by selecting Save and Continue at the bottom of each page) and return to the data collection form at a later time.

Inventory of Cohorts with Data on Occupational Exposures