The BIS Bus is coming - new bus helping with word class research

The BIS Bus is coming - new bus helping with word class research

Groundbreaking research into childhood illnesses and conditions will now be easier for research participants thanks to a grant to purchase a Barwon Infant Study (BIS) Preschool Research Bus – or BIS bus.

The BIS bus will allow BIS researchers to come directly to the homes of children and their families to ensure tests and samples are taken regularly without causing major impacts into family life.  

The BIS cohort is a major Australian study investigating the early life origins of health and disease. BIS is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and in recent years, the team have made a number of important discoveries about the origins of food allergy, heart disease, autism and attention deficit disorder.

The Barwon Health Foundation recently received $100,000 from Gandel Philanthropy to purchase an essential, fully equipped mobile research van to visit family homes enabling the BIS fieldwork team to double the number of preschool home visits conducted for these families who may otherwise be unable to attend hospital appointments.

Geelong mum and Barwon Infant Study participant Cara said the new bus will make the study even more convenient and accessible to families like hers who are part of such an important study especially living in our little country town like Inverleigh.

“When my husband and I decided to take part in the study during my pregnancy with Lucas we were excited to be a part of something that not only helped our child and our family but was also a part of a study making a difference to kid’s health in Australia and even theworld. We came in for many assessments and tests along the way and this beautiful new bus will help families like us to be part of this research in a convenient and efficient way that will allow families like ours become even more involved with the research and outcomes,” Cara said.

It is hoped this new bus will ultimately increase retention and participation rate at four years of age in this world-class research study.

BIS intend to produce numerous publications as aresult of this fieldwork in order to secure the longevity of the cohort and support the next school age reviews between children aged six to 10 years.