The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin is a population health research infrastructure for investigators at the UW and beyond. SHOW can support many types of studies from epidemiologic and environmental studies, to community-based studies, research on health disparities, research on aging and others. SHOW was built as a highly flexible infrastructure that can quickly respond to new trends and research interests.

What we offer

SHOW offers expertise and services in study design, sampling strategy and recruitment, implementation of project specific questionnaires, specialized biological and environmental sample collection, protocol development and IRB support. 

Recruitment and oversampling of population of interest

The SHOW infrastructure includes staff, protocols and experience for identifying or recruiting persons of special interest for further study. This may include individuals from the SHOW sample, or other potential research subjects. We can be flexible in our approach – using SHOW staff to recruit, collect data, or to simply invite participation and turn over recruitment to ancillary partners.

Examples of specialized recruitment or sampling afforded by SHOW include:

  • identifying SHOW core survey participants, prospectively or retrospectively, who meet criteria for an ancillary study. (e.g. for mailed questionnaires, qualitative interviews, invitation to participate in a clinical trial)
  • oversampling in selected block groups for the SHOW core survey. (e.g. to provide a greater representation of minorities or underrepresented populations)
  • using SHOW staff and protocols to recruit and obtain data from individuals who are outside the SHOW sample. (e.g. for community organizations, for on-going cohorts or other investigations)

Implementation of project-specific questionnaires

The SHOW core survey is administered annually, to a new cross-sectional sample of persons or to prior study participants for longitudinal follow-up, depending on SHOW’s phase of data collection that year. New questions or modules may be added into one or more of the survey segments.

Trained interviewers on encrypted laptops administer computer-based instruments with programming maintained by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. Paper-based personal interviews and self-administered questionnaires, as well as web-based surveys may also be implemented.

Additions to the SHOW core survey require three to six months or more of advance notice depending on the mode of data collection to be used and to allow for training staff and completing a change to SHOW’s IRB protocol.

Data collection methods available by segment of the SHOW Core Survey

In-home visit

  • computer assisted personal or self interview
  • paper-based interview or questionnaire
  • web-based survey
  • physical measurements

Self-administered between visits

  • paper-based questionnaire
  • web-based survey

Sample collection visit

  • computer assisted personal or self interview
  • paper-based interview or questionnaire
  • web-based survey
  • physical measurements

Specialized bio and environmental sample collection

Trained SHOW field staff collect biological samples from participants in the SHOW core survey during a sample collection visit scheduled following the in-home survey. Sample collection is completed at a site in the community conveniently located for participants, or in the subject's home. Procedures and staff are in place for processing and temporary storage of samples in the field as well as for the transportation of samples to the SHOW central biorepository for long-term storage.

SHOW can add special samples and processing to the core survey for interested partners. For example, in 2016-17, SHOW added samples to the survey in partnership with the WARRIOR project.

SHOW has experience with the following biosamples:

  • whole blood
  • stool
  • serum
  • saliva
  • plasma
  • hair
  • dried blood spots
  • skin, nasal and oral swabs
  • urine

In 2018, SHOW in partnership with the Population-Based Microbiome Research Core will collect the following environmental samples for a subset of individuals:

  • water
  • dust
  • high-touch surface wipes
  • soil
  • samples from household pets

Protocol development and IRB support

The SHOW infrastructure includes scientists with expertise in protocols for research involving human subjects, as well as staff with many years of experience coordinating SHOW’s operational logistics and data collection with numerous partners.

SHOW is well-equipped to develop research strategies and protocols for ancillary studies and for grant submissions with interested investigators. SHOW staff include persons experienced in grant writing, database development and with Institutional Review Board protocol development and submissions.