The Study of Health in Pomerania
The Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) is a population-based epidemiological study consisting of two independent cohorts (SHIP and SHIP-TREND). SHIP investigates common risk factors, subclinical disorders and manifest diseases with highly innovative non-invasive methods in the high-risk population of northeast Germany. The aims of both studies are: (i) investigation of the long-term progression of subclinical findings, their determinants and prognostic values (SHIP-2); (ii) analysis of the secular trend of subclinical and overt diseases and their determinants in a high-risk population (SHIP-TREND vs SHIP-0); and (iii) assessment of the prevalence of subclinical findings (SHIP-TREND).
The sub-study is based on the established SHIP study. Volunteers from the SHIP-4 cohort are included starting September 2020. Two subgroups are to be distinguished: Subgroup 1 consists of test persons (n=500), for whom the SHIP study is still pending and for subgroup 2, the SHIP study has already been conducted. Subgroup 1 will be tested by PCR for a possible, currently existing SARS-CoV-2 infection and by antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2 infections. In addition, they are asked by means of a questionnaire about their symptoms, behavior, expectations regarding the further course and effects of the pandemic, the assessment of their own risk and their agreement with preventive measures. This survey will be repeated monthly and is combined with a new antibody test (follow-up examinations) to detect possible infections with SARS-CoV-2 over the course of two years. For this purpose, the "Dried Blood Spot" (DBS) test is used. It enables the participants to collect the sample material themselves at home and send it to the study center by mail. In subgroup 2, a total of 500 subjects are included using a questionnaire and a DBS antibody test. The survey is repeated every four months over the same duration.
This study utilizes several questionnaires, two of which have been included: "SHIP Langfragebogen zu COVID-19" and "SHIP Kurzfragebogen zu COVID-19". The long version (Langfragebogen) is used for the baseline assessment, while the short version (Kurzfragebogen) is used for repeated follow-up surveys. For the reason of comparability, several items are identical in both versions.