Description of the Study

The Queensland Flood Study (QF2011) started in 2011 following severe flooding of a large portion of Queensland. Immediately after hearing of the floods, Dr. Suzanne King (Douglas Hospital Research Centre) contacted Dr. Marie-Paule Austin (University of New South Wales), who then contacted Dr. Sue Kildea (Australian Catholic University), to collaborate and create a study that would build upon Project Ice Storm and the Iowa Flood Study. Due to a lot of hard work by the investigators and the SPIRAL team, QF2011 was off the ground and running in a very short period of time. The fast start was attributed to an ongoing study called M@NGO, a randomized control trial comparing midwifery group care with standard care, which had been recruiting pregnant women prior to the Queensland floods. By piggy-backing onto the already running M@NGO study, QF2011 was able to recruit women quickly.

The main goals of QF2011 are to examine how pregnancy-related stress caused by the traumatic flooding affects fetal and child development. Unlike Project Ice Storm and The Iowa Food Study, QF2011 was able to collect biological samples from participants and their infants, such as placenta samples and cord blood, which will allow for complex analyses to understand how prenatal maternal stress is biologically transmitted to the fetus. Women, who were pregnant, had recently given birth, or were already participating in the M@NGO study, were approached soon after the flooding and asked to participate in a longitudinal study. In total, nearly 300 women were enrolled into the study. Since recruitment, mothers and their children have been asked to complete questionnaires, participate in a face-to-face assessment, answer questions over the phone, and provide saliva samples for hormonal and genetic analyses. Data is continually being collected and preliminary results will eventually be made available here. We recommend that you check back to see our latest research findings.