The ELFE study (French Longitudinal Study from Birth) turns to the COVID-19 crisis

Exceptionally, ELFE cohort families are being asked to answer a survey questionnaire in the framework of France’s SAPRIS program (Health, Perception, Practices, Social Relations and Inequalities in the general population during the COVID-19 crisis).

Launched by a multidisciplinary group of researchers with support from INSERM and Santé Publique France, this survey will provide a better understanding of the epidemiological and social issues involved in the exceptional infection prevention measures implemented in France to combat the coronavirus pandemic—most notably, lockdown (confinement).

The survey operation draws from five existing national cohort survey samples representative of France’s general population (ELFE, EPIPAGE 2, Constances, Etude Familiale E3N-E4N, and NutriNet Santé). To ensure a database as homogeneous and wide-ranging as possible, researchers have closely collaborated in establishing the five cohort questionnaires. A total of over 200,000 respondents will be contacted.

Parents of children in the ELFE cohort survey will be given a 30-minute questionnaire every few weeks. The questions focus primarily on any coronavirus symptoms their children may present and treatment they may be receiving for them; also on children’s housing and home schooling conditions, changes in parents’ work lives, the state of relations within the family, any family or individual precautionary measures, and how the children are behaving in response to this potentially anxiety-inducing situation.

It is important for the government and public authorities to know how the French are experiencing this health crisis and its impacts. The survey findings will help us understand how the population is responding to the confinement measures—how well they are accepting them—and so to improve strategies for combating the epidemic.