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Study of CFS in GA - Frequently Asked Questions

Which Georgia counties were in this study?

To ensure the study was composed of a diverse population, participants were selected from DeKalb, Fulton, Bibb, Baldwin, Bleckley, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Macon, Monroe, Peach, Twiggs, and Wilkinson Counties.

Who is Abt Associates?

Abt Associates is a social science research firm that has been contracted by CDC to conduct the telephone survey and clinical evaluations. Since 1988, Abt Associates has assisted CDC with a series of CFS studies. Abt Associates has telephone interviewers in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hadley, Massachusetts, and field staff across the US.

How did you get my telephone number?

No person or organization provided us with your number, and it will not be released even to CDC. Your number was chosen at random by a computer to represent your geographic area. This method ensures that metropolitan, urban, and rural areas in Georgia were adequately represented.

Occasionally, the computer selects unlisted numbers. If your number was unlisted, it is still unlisted. Only Abt Associates, the contractor responsible for the survey, knows which telephone numbers were selected, and they will not provide that information to CDC or to other parties.

Does CDC know that I was selected?

Although CDC was sponsoring this study, CDC staff and researchers will not know your name, address, or telephone number(s). CDC's contractor, Abt Associates, assigned a unique identification number to you. Your answers were reported to the CDC by that identification number.

I'm not tired. Why did you want me to participate?

We interviewed people who were fatigued, and also individuals who were not fatigued. Information from people who were not fatigued help us to understand other possible differences in addition to fatigue and may help us learn more about the causes and symptoms of CFS and similar illnesses. Your participation really helped.

Where were the clinics located?

Atlanta

CDC Study
Century Center Office Park
1901 Century Blvd. NE
Suite 11
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: (404) 728-0225

Macon

CDC Study
North Side Square Office Park
3312 Northside Drive
Building A, Suite 115
Macon, GA 31210
Phone: (478) 475-0008

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Someone I know was selected for this study. How can I sign up?

The duration of the study was between 2004 and 2005. Initial participation between 2004 and 2005 was required to participate in the follow study between 2007 and 2009. Furthermore, scientific studies, such as this one, follow strict rules for selecting participants. Unless your telephone number was one that was randomly selected by the computer, you could not join the study.

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Did I have to participate?

Your participation was voluntary. However, CDC needed your help to better understand and help people suffering from CFS and related illnesses. Your telephone number was randomly selected to represent your geographic area and could not be replaced by another number; thus, we really needed your help.

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Why was I getting calls about a clinical evaluation?

Based on answers that you provided during the telephone interview, you were eligible for a clinical evaluation. If you had participated in the clinical evaluation, you would have received a no-cost physical examination conducted by a physician and results of laboratory tests that could have been shared with your medical professional. After you completed the evaluation, you would have received $250 to reimburse you for your time and effort.

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How long did this take?

The first stage was a screening interview that lasted about five minutes.

The next stage was a detailed interview. This interview lasted about thirty minutes.

The last stage for this study was the clinical evaluation. If you were selected for this component, the evaluation lasted about nine hours. Because the clinical evaluation took all day, participants were reimbursed for their time and effort.

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Couldn't you pick someone else to take my place?

Your telephone number was randomly selected to represent your geographic area. It could not be replaced with another. If we replaced phone numbers, we would get biased (or slanted) results, and we would not be able to say that the people selected for this study were representative of the people in Georgia. If you were selected for this study, you represented hundreds of other people like yourself.

It was equally important that we evaluated the people selected for the clinical evaluation. If you were selected for the study, you could not be replaced by another individual.

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I have more questions. Whom can I call?

If you have any questions about how the study works. If you think that you have been harmed as a result of this study, contact CDC: Dr. James Jones at (404) 639-3532.

If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this research study, please contact the office of CDC's Deputy Associate Director for Science, toll-free, at (800) 584-8814. Please leave a brief message, including your name and phone number. Also, please mention that you are calling in reference to CDC protocol #4121. Someone will return your call as soon as possible.

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