You may have completed an ‘expression of interest form’, providing your contact details and pregnancy information, but the actual sign-up (consent) process occurs with an ORIGINS research assistant during an arranged appointment with us. This will only take 10 minutes of your time and can be done virtually if you prefer.
Yes absolutely! If you have a partner, they are welcome to participate in ORIGINS, but this is not a requirement. Single mothers are very much encouraged to join the ORIGINS community.
Yes. To be eligible to take part in ORIGINS, you simply need to be having antenatal care at Joondalup Health Campus and/or be intending to give birth there. Our team are flexible in arranging your appointments so that they can occur at the same time as your upcoming visits to Joondalup.
Yes, you can! If you have had some antenatal care at Joondalup Health Campus during your pregnancy, or you birthed there, it is not a problem if you later relocate. Our team are flexible in booking your appointments at a time that suits you to be in the Joondalup area, and we can also offer your family telehealth appointments for the paediatric checks if you have relocated outside of Perth/WA.
To be eligible to participate in ORIGINS, we require that you have at least some of your antenatal care at Joondalup Health Campus, either as a public or private patient. We understand however that plans do change, and you may birth at a different hospital. For example, you may end up birthing at King Edward Memorial Hospital, due to complications, or you may be seeing a private obstetrician at Joondalup, but decide to birth at another private hospital under the care of your same obstetrician. In cases like these, you are still very welcome to join ORIGINS.
If you are having all your antenatal care at a different hospital, and do not plan on birthing at Joondalup Health Campus, unfortunately you would not meet the eligibility criteria to join the project.
Please do not hesitate to contact our team if you are unsure whether you are eligible.
Absolutely, we can just re-assess your options if and when the time comes for you to move. The most important thing is that you check in with us to let us know if your mobile / email / postal address changes. This is a long-term project, and we acknowledge things change over time.
It is great that you are keen to grow our ORIGINS family, but you are not automatically part of ORIGINS for subsequent pregnancies. You will need to complete new consent forms in relation to your current pregnancy, so please ensure you do still book an enrolment appointment with us if you are eager to be involved for a second (or third!) time around. This will ensure that your newest baby does not miss out on the many benefits.
The samples that you provide to us during your pregnancy are incredibly useful for the purpose of the research that The ORIGINS Project is undertaking. While you do not receive personalised feedback on these antenatal samples, your family will receive feedback about your child’s development and allergy status during the three free appointments with a paediatrician and/or health professional. If any concerns are detected, we will refer you to follow up services, such as your regular GP or specialist doctors so you can make follow-up appointments.
Find out more about ORIGINS' real-time feedback HERE
Data collected will be stored on secure servers at the Telethon Kids Institute. The servers are in a secure building and access is restricted to a few named individuals. Other data are stored in locked offices, filing cabinets, and on password-protected computers at the Telethon Kids Institute. Access to the building is via an electronic tag and individual rooms are kept locked when unoccupied. Using a unique ID, your personal data will be de-identified and stored separately from your administrative data (identified data) containing your contact details. Your identifiable data is accessible only to specified members of the data management team.
Biological samples are processed at Western Diagnostics Pathology Myaree and at the Telethon Kids Institute within the Perth Children’s Hospital in Nedlands. The ORIGINS biobank is being stored long-term at Perth Children's Hospital, as well as on the premises of a Telethon Kids Institute subsite in Subiaco.
This is not an issue. Our main source of information is from the questionnaires you complete.
Not at all! You are welcome to join ORIGINS at any time during your pregnancy, up until you are 38 weeks along. After 38 weeks, or once your baby has been born, we can still join the project as a Routine Data Participant, a less involved level of participation. In doing so you are making an incredibly valuable contribution to the research, and you are still eligible for some of our exciting sub-projects.
Absolutely! As a participant in ORIGINS we will ask you if you are happy to provide certain biological samples for the purpose of the research, however the decision is always yours to make. It is never a problem if you prefer not to provide certain samples for personal/medical reasons.
Prior to baby being born, the consent form you were asked to sign would have been a ‘Maternal Consent Form’, meaning that it was you giving your consent as a mother to becoming involved in The ORIGINS Project. As we are not able to consent babies into ORIGINS until they are born, we need to also ask you to sign a second consent form known as a ‘Child Consent Form’ once your child has been born, to confirm that you are happy for them to also participate in ORIGINS.
No, there are no costs to participants for being involved in ORIGINS. You are making an incredibly valuable contribution to early childhood research, for which we are most grateful. In fact, families that choose to become full participants in The ORIGINS Project can benefit from free appointments and testing that you would otherwise have to pay for.
Yes, you can. As a participant in ORIGINS we will always ensure that you are comfortable to provide certain biological samples for the purpose of the research, and the decision is always yours to make. It is never a problem if you prefer not to provide certain samples for personal/medical reasons.
While the blood samples that our participants provide are incredibly valuable for the purpose of the research, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you are uncomfortable having blood taken, as this will not exclude you from participating in ORIGINS. There are also things that we can do to make you feel more comfortable during the process of taking a blood sample, so please don’t hesitate to let our clinician know if you are feeling nervous/concerned on the day.
With your consent we take the opportunity, before you are discharged following baby’s birth, to do a ‘PEA POD measurement’ on your baby. The PEA POD machine is a non-invasive device that allows us to measure your baby’s body composition. This includes their fat composition via a special technique of air displacement (in a nice warm chamber for 90 seconds). There is absolutely no risk to baby during this procedure, and often babies seem to find it quite relaxing.
Additionally, during the Guthrie heel-prick test, which is conducted as standard practice by the JHC nursing staff after birth, we would like to take a small drop of blood from your baby. Please note, that this is not an additional procedure or prick, just a fresh piece of paper placed against your baby’s heel. This Guthrie test may occur during your hospital stay, or after discharge by your child health nurse when visiting your home.
Find out more about what happens at each time point HERE
Over the first five years of your child’s life, we will invite you and your child to attend three free appointments with our paediatricians and/or health professionals. During these appointments we will provide feedback on how your child is growing and developing. We will take some samples from your child (with your consent) and will conduct allergy testing, at no cost to your family.
We will also ask you to collect some biological samples from yourself and your child, at home, during the first year of life. We will email you online questionnaires at regular intervals to complete in your own time over the five year period, so that we can track your child’s developmental milestones. As your child gets older, we ask for you to participate in a BOD POD measurement at Edith Cowan University. You can find out more about the three-year assessment HERE.
Find out more about what happens at each time point HERE.
The simple answer is yes. We can get you back on track and assist in clarifying what the next steps are. Please reach out to our team as soon as you can. Call us on 9408 3118 or email ORIGINSproject@telethonkids.org.au.
While the blood samples that our precious babies provide are incredibly valuable for the purpose of the research, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you are uncomfortable, as this will not exclude you from participating in ORIGINS. Bloods are not taken until your child is 1 year of age, and even then, you can chat with our paediatric nurses and see how you and your child feel on the day.
Allergy skin prick testing is performed using prickers which bear a resemblance to toothpicks. The prickers are pointed, however do not usually draw blood, as the breaks made in the skin are only shallow. This test is not painful. Young infants are not bothered by the actual testing but may dislike being temporarily kept still during administration of the allergens. Older children may be fearful of the tests and the ORIGINS nurse will be very reassuring and explain to them that the test is not painful. There is no blood or needles involved. Any discomfort caused by the skin pricks is short lived and does not linger. The benefits and information you receive about your child from the results of the allergy testing far outweigh the experience of the brief procedure.
Yes, he or she can. We are very keen to have partners involved in The ORIGINS Project as it provides a even more rounded picture of genetic and environmental influences on a child's health outcomes.
After joining ORIGINS and before the birth of your baby:
the first two antenatal questionnaires may take you up to 1-2 hours to complete. These give us a good understanding of you and your family’s background and give us a basis to start from.
We would ideally like to see you another two times during pregnancy - two clinic visits with the ORIGINS team, approximately 1 hour each.
While in hospital:
We will visit you for around 30mins shortly after the birth of your baby.
Across the five year study:
We ask you to attend clinic visits with the ORIGINS team and health professionals (at Suite 213, in the Medical Suites at JHC) when your child is one, three and five years old. These usually take around 1.5 hours each.
At three years we invite you to attend an additional visit at Edith Cowan University which takes approximately one hour. See further information about this assessment HERE.
Throughout the five years, you are also asked to complete online questionnaires at home, which track your baby’s development, your and your partner's health as well as assessing lifestyle-related factors in your home/environment. These generally take around 30-45 minutes to complete and are sent to you via email when your child is:
2-4 months old
6-9 months old
18 months old
2 years old
4 years old
prior to your 1, 3 and 5 year appointments
If you choose to be involved in one or more of our sub-projects, each of these come with their own set of commitments (and benefits!), which may take additional time.