Information on participant studies and hygiene measures at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Dear study participants,

Studies involving external participants are an important component of our research at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. In order to ensure the safety of study participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, comprehensive infection protection measures have been developed and implemented in accordance with guidelines provided by the Robert Koch Institute and other scientific evidence. These include reducing the number of testing personnel, wearing protective clothing and masks, and cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating the laboratories used for testing. These measures have been checked and approved by our institute doctor.

If you are participating in one of our studies, you will receive additional documents and information from us. Furthermore, we ask you not to use public transport to get to the institute and recommend that you instead use a bicycle or car in order to reduce contact with other people. If this is not possible, we will provide you with an FFP2 mask in advance of your scheduled visit to increase protection on your way to the institute.

Brief overview of basic hygiene measures

Masks for mouth and nose: Study participants and institute staff wear an FFP2 mask for mouth and nose throughout the test. All study participants will receive an FFP2 mask from us upon arrival at the institute or in advance by post if they are travelling to the institute by public transport. 

Contact on site: We will make every effort to ensure that the entire test is contact-free and, where possible, to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. All surfaces are disinfected by us before your arrival and all rooms are ventilated according to our ventilation protocol. Before you enter the testing laboratory we will measure your body temperature. Please understand that you will not be able to enter and participate in the study if your body temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius. 

Before the test and before entering the laboratory you will be asked to wash or disinfect your hands carefully. Leading up to your appointment, we will provide you with instructions on how to start all testing tasks yourself, contact-free. If it is not possible for you to do so independently, testing staff will start the test for you and any surfaces they touch will be immediately disinfected. In order to further minimize the risk of infection, staff will wear faceplates and protective gloves when making direct contact, for example when applying EEG electrodes or when positioning participants in the magnetic resonance tomograph. After testing, all equipment and surfaces will be disinfected again and rooms will be adequately ventilated.

Risk groups: People who belong to a risk group are currently not allowed to participate in our studies. According to the Robert Koch Institute (German page) the following are classified as risk groups:   

  • People over 50 years of age
  • People with the following diseases:
    • cardiovascular disease
    • diabetes
    • diseases of the respiratory system, liver, or kidney
    • cancer
    • People with obesity
    • People with a suppressed immune system (e.g. due to a disease associated with immune deficiency or due to medications such as cortisone)

Find more information for risk groups on this website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

If you have registered for a study and belong to a risk group, please contact us. You do not need to tell us which risk group you belong to. We will discuss next steps with you. 

Acute symptoms of illness: If you are currently suffering from cold-like symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat, or if you suffer from shortness of breath, diarrhea or loss of sense of smell or taste, you cannot take part in our studies. Please contact us by phone or email to discuss how to proceed.

Your participation in any study is only permitted if you observe the precautions described above. By agreeing to participate in a study, you agree to comply with these precautions.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the contact person for the respective study.   

Stay healthy!

Best wishes from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development study team

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