Pacific Islands Families Study Aims
The Pacific Islands Families Study Study are following a cohort of 1398 Pacific children within their family environment. Extensive consultation within Pacific communities has contributed to the development of this multidisciplinary project and the inclusion of psychosocial and health concepts that are relevant to these communities. It is anticipated that this prospective, longitudinal study will generate important practical information on Pacific child and family health and psychosocial functioning over critical developmental stages.
The three overall objectives of the PIF Study are:
1. to provide information on Pacific peoples' health, and the cultural, economic, environmental and psychosocial factors that are associated with child health and development outcomes and family functioning,
2. to determine how such factors individually and interactively influence positive and negative child, parent and family outcomes over time,
3. to provide information that will help set quantifiable targets for Pacific peoples' health.
These three objectives will inform policy development and programme implementation for a variety of end-users working towards maximising the potential of Pacific families and communities within New Zealand society.
The cohort was drawn from Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland from 15 March to 17 December 2000. Middlemore Hospital is the largest Hospital under the umbrella of South Auckland Health, has the largest number of Pacific births in New Zealand, and includes the main Pacific Islands ethnic groups.
A high response rate of 88% was achieved with mothers who were confirmed as eligible for the study. In sum, the final cohort is made up from potential participants whose mother's met the eligibility criteria, were contactable and where the child survived to six weeks.
The PIF Study employs epidemiological methods and a prospective design to follow a birth cohort selected from the Pacific population over the first two years of the child's life. The PIF Study is made up of respondents from a community population, and as it follows individuals and families prospectively over time/measurement points, (1) six weeks after the child's birth (2) at age 12 months (3) at age 24 months (4) at age 4 years (5) at age 6 years.
A cohort of approximately 1400 was recruited to provide sufficient statistical power to detect moderate to large differences after stratification for Pacific ethnicity and other key variables (e.g., sole vs. two-parent families).