Follow up survey for people with COVID-19
You have recently tested positive for COVID-19. You may currently be experiencing some typical symptoms of the disease (fever, dry cough, fatigue,…). The recovery time for COVID-19 varies from person to person; some recover after a few days, others may experience persistent symptoms.
In this context, we are organizing a study (COVIMPACT) that aims to answer several questions: How long does it take to recover from COVID-19? Does a COVID-19 infection have long-term effects? Do these effects also affect people without symptoms?
Because you have tested positive for COVID-19, we invite you to participate in our study by completing a first questionnaire (max. 15 minutes), even if you have no or mild symptoms. Follow-up questionnaires (max. 10 minutes, no obligation) will be sent to you every 3 months, until April 2023.
We would like to thank you for your interest in our study and wish you a speedy recovery.
After a COVID-19 infection, some people may experience persistent symptoms, a syndrome called “COVID-long”. This syndrome can affect people who have experienced severe or mild forms of the disease. Recent studies show that people who have no symptoms may also develop long-term effects. We call on your cooperation for this follow-up study to increase knowledge about the long-term effects of COVID-19.
How does this study work?
The study consists of a first online questionnaire and several follow-up questionnaires.
The purpose of the first questionnaire is to:
- collect information about your possible symptoms during the first weeks of the disease and your health status before the infection
- ask for your consent and e-mail address to send you an invitation to complete the short questionnaires as part of the follow-up
Please complete the first questionnaire within 7 days of the contact tracing call. This will give us a more accurate picture of your symptoms during the first weeks of the disease.
The purpose of the follow-up questionnaires is to:
- take measurements every 3 months to monitor your health status until the end of the study in April 2023
- collect information about your physical, mental and social health
It is recommended that you complete each questionnaire, although it is not an obligation. The follow-up of people who have no long-term symptoms is very important to produce unbiased results. This allows us to determine the proportion of people with and without COVID-long syndrome among those who have been infected.
Who is taking the initiative for this study?
Researchers from Sciensano, the Belgian Institute of Health, led by Dr. Karin De Ridder and Dr. Rana Charafeddine from the lifestyle and chronic disease service.
Questions or technical problems?
If you would like additional information or if you experience a technical problem, contact us by e-mail or by phone (02/642 57 39).
Protection of your data when participating?
Participation is totally voluntary and you can decide to discontinue your participation at any time. The information you provide via the questionnaire will only be used for the goals mentioned above. Sciensano will only use this information to compile general statistics. Scientific publications can be created based on the results of the research, but your individual data will never be passed on to third parties.
In order to recruit participants Sciensano appeals to the regional centers for contact tracing to make its survey known. People called for contact tracing that gave their consent to receive more information about the survey, have the choice to receive an SMS or message via GovApp with a link to the survey.
The COVIMPACT study was approved by the ethics committee of the University Hospital Ghent (UZ Gent) and the University of Ghent (UGent).
Rights, data storage and data access
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have the right to request access, rectification, erasure, restriction and a copy of your data. You also have the right to withdraw consent at any time, without affecting the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal.You can exercise your rights by preference via our online form. If you choose to share your e-mail address for the follow-up study, this e-mail address will only be retained until the end of the data collection of the COVIMPACT surveys and will be deleted afterwards. The other data will be stored for 30 years in a pseudonimized way.
Once the survey data arrives to Sciensano, it is stripped of its identification information (e-mail) by a collaborator who is not involved in the data analysis. The survey data are placed in a folder accessible only to the scientific collaborators involved in this study. The scientific collaborators involved in the study will have access to the survey data, but will not have access to the link between the e-mails and the responses of the participants. This means that the researchers at Sciensano will not be able to identify you.
Please note that as soon as the mail addresses are deleted, it will be difficult to know which data belongs to which person. Sciensano would therefore need additional information from the applicant who wants to execute his rights of access, modification or deletion.
Who is responsible for the processing of the data?
Sciensano is responsible for the processing of the data. The processing is based on the ground of consent(art. 6.1 (a) of the General Data Protection regulation (GDPR)). Consent provides the legal exception to process data concerning health. (art. 9.2 (a), of the GDPR). The processing of data is done by authorized persons, under supervision by the project coordinator (Dr. Karin De Ridder and Dr. Rana Charafeddine from the lifestyle and chronic disease department).
Contact: e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (02/642 57 39).
Questions or complaints about data protection?
If you have any question about data protection, please contact the Sciensano Data Protection Officer via DPO@sciensano.be or 02/642 51 02. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, hereto, you can contact the Belgian data protection authority: Drukpersstraat 35 — 1000 Brussels — Tel.: 02/274 48 00 — e-mail: email@example.com.