Author(s): Mackey DA, Mackinnon JR, Brown SA, Kearns LS, Ruddle JB, Sanfilippo PG, Sun C, Hammond CJ, Young TL, Martin NG, Hewitt AW. Twins eye study in Tasmania (TEST): rationale and methodology to recruit and examine twins. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2009 Oct;12(5):441-54. doi: 10.1375/twin.12.5.441. PMID 19803772
Journal: Twin Research And Human Genetics : The Official Journal Of The International Society For Twin Studies, Volume 12, Issue 5, Oct 2009
Visual impairment is a leading cause of morbidity and poor quality of life in our community. Unravelling the mechanisms underpinning important blinding diseases could allow preventative or curative steps to be implemented. Twin siblings provide a unique opportunity in biology to discover genes associated with numerous eye diseases and ocular biometry. Twins are particularly useful for quantitative trait analysis through genome-wide association and linkage studies. Although many studies involving twins rely on twin registries, we present our approach to the Twins Eye Study in Tasmania to provide insight into possible recruitment strategies, expected participation rates and potential examination strategies that can be considered by other researchers for similar studies. Five separate avenues for cohort recruitment were adopted: (1) piggy-backing existing studies where twins had been recruited, (2) utilizing the national twin registry, (3) word-of-mouth and local media publicity, (4) directly approaching schools, and finally (5) collaborating with other research groups studying twins.