There were four parts to the UK Biobank assessment process, which lasted between 2-3 hours (depending on whether or not a number of enhancements to the assessment, added in the later stages of recruitment, were in operation at the time of assessment).
Touch screen questionnaire
The touch screen questionnaire was specially designed to be easy to use. It allowed participants more privacy to answer questions, and to complete the form in their own time. Information was collected securely and could be stored safely within minutes of the participants leaving the assessment centre. UK Biobank was also able to ask participants to undergo a hearing test and cognitive function tests as part of the touch screen process. Information collected about health, particularly relating to serious illness, operations and other procedures, and medication was then discussed in more detail with participants by a study nurse.
- Standing and sitting height;
- Waist and hip circumference;
- Weight and bioimpedance;
- Hand grip: both hands were measured in turn using a device called a dynamometer;
- Bone density, at the heels;
- Arterial stiffness using an infra-red finger probe;
- Eye measurements;
- Fitness assessment using a static bike;
- Detailed web-based diet questionnaire.
Each participant donated about 3 tablespoons of blood as well as urine. Saliva samples were provided by some, but not all, participants.
Assessments were undertaken in 22 centres in Scotland, England and Wales. Detailed protocols and other related information can be found in the Resources section of this website.