Drawing blood from young children: lessons learned from a trial in Ghana


Newton, S; Doku, V; Geissler, W; Asante, KP; Cousens, S; (2009) Drawing blood from young children: lessons learned from a trial in Ghana. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103 (5). pp. 497-499. ISSN 0035-9203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.11.030

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Abstract

This paper reflects on lessons learned from a trial in Ghana assessing the impact of vitamin A supplementation on children's immune responses to tetanus and polio vaccines. There were more tosses to follow-up than was anticipated at visits during which blood was drawn, owing to concerns or misconceptions about blood draw. The trial initially planned to recruit 960 children but had to recruit more because the proportion of infants lost to follow-up was greater than the anticipated 15%, resulting in a longer recruitment period. Of 1085 infants who were randomised into the trial, 767 (71%) completed follow-up at 6 months of age. It was notable that at the first (6 weeks) and fourth (6 months) visits at which blood was drawn, losses to follow-up were greater than at the second (10 weeks) and third (14 weeks) visits during which blood was not drawn. Losses to follow-up pose a threat to the validity of trials as there is a chance that those lost to follow-up may differ from those who remain in the trial. Monitoring losses to follow-up as they emerged and allowing mothers to witness the blood draw, as welt as holding community meetings, helped to allay anxieties in the community. (C) 2008 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Tropical Epidemiology Group
Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 19155032
Web of Science ID: 265822400012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/5278

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