Introduction to the CHICOS project

CHICOS (Developing a Child Cohort Research Strategy for Europe) is a project conducted within the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme. Its overall aim is to improve child health across Europe by developing an integrated strategy for mother-child cohort research in Europe.

Policy and decision makers need a solid evidence-based structure for the development and implementation of public health interventions, and the incorporation of specific goals in the definition of all policies, including those focused on child health. Other child cohorts are collecting a wealth of information on childhood diseases and their determinants across Europe, and these data should be organised in a way to consolidate scattered research. Moreover, messages emerging from mother-child cohort research are not always filtering through to national or European policies. There is an urgent need, therefore, for coordination at the European level to develop a strategy for future research within mother-child cohorts designed to improve policy.

CHICOS aims to promote an inventory of all mother-child cohorts in Europe, to evaluate existing information on outcomes and determinants from these cohorts, to identify gaps in knowledge, and to develop recommendations for research action at a European level for the next 15 years, focusing on key areas of policy concern.