Information for Participants

What is MI CReSS?

The Michigan COVID-19 Recovery Surveillance Study (MI CReSS) is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan School of Public Health (UM SPH) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Many Michiganders have been confirmed by lab testing to have COVID-19, but we are still learning about the range in severity of the disease, access to testing and healthcare, and recovery from the illness. We need your help to learn more. The goal of MI CReSS is to learn from people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 about their experiences before, during, and after their illness. No matter how your illness went, your answers will help us learn more about ways to help Michigan residents with COVID-19 have the best opportunities to be healthy, by helping to inform the public health response effort and policy.

How was I chosen to participate?

Eligible participants are randomly selected from the list of adults in Michigan with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). COVID-19 is a reportable disease and information about confirmed cases are transferred into the MDSS system by labs or healthcare providers. Additional information from case investigations conducted by state or local health department personnel are also entered into the system. This information is the basis for public health surveillance for COVID-19.  MDHHS and UM SPH developed a data sharing agreement which outlines the rules for how information is shared, how it is stored securely, and how privacy is maintained. While it is necessary for the survey interviewers to have contact information, all identifying information is removed from the survey responses so that no individual can be identified. In addition, MDHHS has data suppression rules so that grouped results from fewer than 5 people are not reported, and all publications will be reviewed to ensure that privacy is maintained.

Will my answers be kept private?

All answers are kept completely private to the extent permitted by law. All answers given on the surveys will be grouped together to give us information on people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. No one will be identified individually in any reports from this survey. We have your name and address for only one reason: so, we can contact you and ask you to participate in MI CReSS. Your name is never attached to any survey answer you provide. No one else, including any employees at UM SPH or MDHHS can connect your answers to your name. Extra steps are being taken to ensure your privacy, and MDHHS is providing oversight to ensure your data remain private and secure.

Is it important that I answer these questions?

It is really important, and here's why. Your story is unique, but it has similarities to the stories of other people who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Because we cannot interview every one of the many people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Michigan, we randomly select several thousand people to represent all Michiganders diagnosed with COVID-19. Your answers help speak for others who may be like you in terms of your age, race, or whether you live in a city or rural area of Michigan, etc.

Some of the questions do not seem related to health care, why are they asked?

Questions that may seem unrelated to the topic of health care can still affect your health. Factors such as where you live, the people in your life, and your daily activities all impact your well-being. If we only look at the health care that you get from doctors and hospitals, we will miss seeing all the other things that create opportunities or barriers for being healthy. Beyond health care, we are interested in other obstacles that people diagnosed with COVID-19 have encountered, as well as the stresses that have come about because of the pandemic such as mental health issues, access to food, and housing or employment loss. We know that the pandemic is much more than just an illness.

I had no or mild symptoms from COVID-19. Do you still need to hear from me?

Yes! We are happy that you are healthy and doing well.  COVID-19 is a new disease and we cannot learn more about why some people had more difficult experiences unless we discover more about people who had mild or no symptoms. Hearing your story is just as important as hearing the stories of people who had more severe disease.

Is there any compensation?

All participants who complete the questionnaire will receive a gift card.