Hypothesis generating questionnaires

Day 21: Thursday May 28, 2020 (n=14)

While reviewing PulseNet Canada’s weekly WGS summary reports, you notice five more cases were added to cluster 2005NEWWGS-1ON-MP: one from British Columbia, two from Alberta, one from Ontario, and one from Quebec. Quebec is added to the OICC participant list and invited to the scheduled OICC call on Monday June 1, 2020.

You decide to have a look at the line list for more information and to ask the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) for a quick meeting to review the WGS tree for this cluster.

The new case count (14 cases total) is communicated to the affected provinces by email. Provinces are asked to share the questionnaires for the new cases with PHAC once received from the local public health authorities and the contact information so that PHAC-OMD can re-interview cases as necessary using the hypothesis-generating questionnaire. Quebec emails PHAC that their case (QC-13) is lost to follow up.

Question 2-7: What information would you collect on a hypothesis generating questionnaire?

  •  Hypothesis-generating questionnaires (also called “shotgun” questionnaires) collect demographic information (e.g., age, sex, occupation), clinical information (e.g., symptoms, illness onset date, hospitalization information) and exposure information (e.g., food history, travel history, contact with animals, water exposure).
  • The hypothesis-generating questionnaire used for this investigation can be downloaded here.


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