Community, Health Services,

Gippsland families encouraged to join GenV

Latrobe Regional Health is looking for families with bubs born between 4 October 2021 up until 3 October this year to take part in Australia’s largest national birth and parent study.

Generation Victoria, or GenV, is gathering information for researchers to complete a picture of the health and wellbeing of a generation.

The project is following babies and their parents to help solve problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity, and mental illness.

So far, nearly 2000 Gippsland families have signed up to GenV, joining more than 100,000 families state wide.

GenV is being led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital, and has partnered with all Victorian birthing hospitals, including LRH.

GenV Gippsland area manager Denise Lawlor said inclusivity was at the heart of the project meaning all parents living in Victoria with a baby born within the eligibility period could take part.

This includes families whose first language is not English, regional families, fathers and other parents who are under-represented, or who may be unable to take part in other research projects.

Denise said families had been very receptive to be included in be the project and were glad to be “part of something bigger than themselves”.

“We hope as many Gippsland families as possible join us to be able to look for trends and patterns in this community in the years to come,” Denise said.

“For example, we frequently hear families connect with GenV’s vision because of health conditions that might affect their family.

“The more families that take part, the more we can understand families like theirs and ultimately help us better prevent, predict and treat problems families face.”

Participating families are sent a short survey up to four times a year, that takes a few minutes to complete.

When signing-up, families provide their contact details and some basic information, and can also consent to an optional saliva sample to support biological research.

Denise stressed GenV protects participants’ privacy by removing identifying details from the research.

“GenV takes very little of families’ time but has the potential to make huge differences to many families going forward, potentially even their own,” she said.

GenV is led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne and funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Victorian Government and the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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