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Instruments for health surveys in children and adolescents

Instruments of the IDEFICS & I.Family cohort study

This website provides questionnaires, examination sheets and software tools, as well as the General Survey Manual and the standard operation procedures (SOP) which were used in the IDEFICS/I.Family cohort study. You can download a copy of any instruments on this website after registration. In some cases you will find more than one version of the instruments, depending on the survey (IDEFICS baseline or the follow-up, or I.Family). Additionally, some instruments are also available in different languages.

The design, methods and instruments for data collection used in the IDEFICS and I.Family studies, are described in Bammann et al., Instruments for Health Surveys in Children and Adolescents. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland, 2019. Some instruments have their own chapter in this book. The rationale for choosing the respective instrument, the methodological background, some practical experiences gained during field work and information on use of the instruments and on the operationalisation of the generated data, are described in detail in the corresponding chapter.

Use of the IDEFICS/I.Family instruments

The content and design of the IDEFICS/I.Family instruments may not be used in any way for commercial purposes. In general, the use of items from the questionnaires or full instruments for scientific research is allowed. The corresponding citation to be used in the published research when using the IDEFICS/I.Family instruments is specified in the download area.

The following list gives an overview on the available questionnaires, examinations sheets and further documents:

  • General Survey Manual
  • Modular Control and Documentation System for Epidemiological Studies (MODYS) (web-based test version)
  • Questionnaires
    • Parental questionnaire (proxy report for children, age 2-11 years)
    • Children’s questionnaire (proxy report for children, age 2-11 years)
    • Children’s eating habits questionnaire (CEHQ) (proxy report for children, age 2-11 years) including the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)
    • Questionnaire on children’s knowledge about and attitudes towards food advertising (proxy-report for children, age 2-11 years)
    • Teen questionnaire (self-report, age ≥ 12 years)
    • Teenagers’ eating habits questionnaire (TEHQ) (self-report, age 12-15 years) including the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)
    • Parent’s questionnaire (parents)
    • Adult’s Eating Habits Questionnaire (AEHQ) (Age ≥19) including the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)
    • Food and Beverage Preference Questionnaire
    • Family questionnaire (parents)

  • Interviews
    • Health and Medical History Interview (parents)
    • Pregnancy and early childhood interview (biological mothers)
    • Child-parent interview on the role of commercials
    • Kinship and household interview

  • Standard operation procedures (SOP)
    • Collection of bio- samples: blood, saliva, urine and stool
    • Accelerometry
    • Experiments on children’s food knowledge and preferences
    • Experiments on active food choices with food advertisements as stimuli
    • Children’s questionnaire on the role of commercials (for qualitative studies)
    • Sensory taste perception tests
    • Taste thresholds for sweet, salty, bitter and umami
    • Taste intensity for sweet and fat
    • Physical fitness tests (flamingo balance test, Backsaver sit and reach, standing broad jump, 40m sprint, 20m shuttle run test)
    • Handgrip strength

  • Recording sheets
    • Physical examinations: fasting and non-fasting status
    • Lab sheets for collection of bio-samples: blood, saliva and urine
    • Taste intensity tests

  • Web-based 24-Hour Dietary Recall (SACANA) (test version)
  • R package “accelerate”
  • Templates
    • Game board for taste threshold testing
    • Game board used for preference testing
    • Game board used for intensity testing


The development of instruments, the baseline data collection and the first follow-up work as part of the IDEFICS study ( were financially supported by the European Commission within the Sixth RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 016181 (FOOD). The most recent follow-up including the development of new instruments and the adaptation of previously used instruments was conducted in the framework of the I.Family study ( which was funded by the European Commission within the Seventh RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 266044 (KBBE 2010-14).

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