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OBJECTIVE: To determine the willingness of pregnant women in Guangzhou, China, to participate in a large-scale birth cohort study. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 526 pregnant women who attended their first prenatal class at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou, China, between September 21 and November 15, 2011. Information on demographic characteristics, willingness to participate, and preferences regarding collection procedures and incentives were analyzed. RESULTS: In all, 47.9% of the women were willing to participate in a birth cohort study, whereas 23.0% refused and 29.1% were unsure. The majority of the women willing to participate (95.2%-98.4%) accepted the use of non-invasive data collection methods except for stool collection, and 85.9% would allow their offspring to participate in long-term follow-up. Willingness to participate rose to 85.2% when non-monetary incentives were offered. The most popular incentive was assessment of child development. CONCLUSION: The willingness of pregnant Chinese women to participate in long-term observational research was similar to that reported in high-income countries. Non-monetary incentives improved their level of willingness, a finding that might inform future maternal and child health research in low- and middle-income countries.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Gynaecol Obstet

Publication Date





216 - 218


Birth cohort study, Enrollment, Incentive, Low- and middle-income countries, Pregnancy, Willingness to participate, Adult, China, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Female, Humans, Patient Selection, Pregnancy, Refusal to Participate, Research Design, Research Subjects, Specimen Handling, Young Adult