Participant Information Sheet
We would like to invite you to take part in a research study by completing a questionnaire about your experience of depression. Before you decide whether or not to take part, please read the following information. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the research team using the contact details at the end of this Participant Information Sheet. Please read and complete the Consent Form after reading through this Participant Information Sheet.
Please read all the information carefully
Title: The Experience of Depression - A Questionnaire
Questionnaire Co-ordinator: Dr Benedict Smith (Durham University)
Project Leader: Prof Matthew Ratcliffe (Durham University)
Research Assistant: Ms Hannah Shand (Durham University)
“What is the questionnaire about?”
The questionnaire is part of a 3-year research project investigating the experience of depression. The aim of our project is to provide a clear, detailed description of what it is like to experience depression. In order to achieve our goal, we need to reflect on what people have to say about their experiences of depression. We have therefore prepared this questionnaire in order to obtain responses to questions about what it is like to experience depression.
“Who can take part?”
If you have had first-person experience of depression, and you are 16 years of age or over, then you can participate and complete a questionnaire.
“Why take part?”
Since one of the aims of our research is to shed light on what it is like to experience depression, the responses you provide will be very important for our project. Unfortunately, participants cannot be paid but we hope that the responses to the questionnaire will make a significant contribution to furthering the understanding of depression.
“How long will the questionnaire take?”
The time spent on the questionnaire is up to you. You can write as much or as little as you like. If you don’t want to respond to a question, just leave it blank. Some background questions ask for simple facts about you, and will be answerable very quickly. Other questions in the second section will take more time since they invite you to reflect on and describe aspects of your experience. There are 13 questions overall. You can take a break at any time from filling in the questionnaire just press ‘Return to survey options’ and then ‘Log out’. You can then carry on completing the questionnaire whenever you like by pressing entering your email address and password as a ‘current participant’.
“What happens after I’ve agreed to complete a questionnaire?”
Once you have read this information sheet you can read and submit the Consent Form. Completing the Consent Form involves providing your name, an email address, and a password. You will use this email address and password each time you want to access the questionnaire from the homepage as a ‘current participant’. Once you have finished completing the questionnaire it will be submitted electronically to the research team by checking the relevant box and confirming that you have completed the questionnaire. We will discuss the responses and draw on the insights provided to help produce academic books, papers and conference presentations.
“What about my privacy and confidentiality?”
The research team will keep your personal information strictly confidential and will be known only to them. Your name and personal details will be stored securely and will not appear on any of the reports or publications that result from our research, and will be kept separate from the questionnaires. The questionnaires will be seen by the research team and their research associates such as the UK mental health charity SANE.
The responses you provide may be used in published writings in academic journals, books and in conference presentations. Such research might also be available in the public domain through the project website (address provided at the end of this Participant Information Sheet). We may directly quote from the material provided in the responses to the questionnaire to help illustrate a point, or stimulate discussion, but we will ensure that people are not personally identifiable by the use of such quotations. (For example, any identifying names, places and institutions will be changed).
Section C of the Questionnaire asks whether you mind the research team following-up the responses you provide. We would do this by asking further questions sent by email. If you don’t mind us doing this, please tick the box and add your name and email address. Otherwise, just leave it blank. Section C and the Consent Form will be kept separate from the questionnaire and linked only through an anonymous ID number.
In exceptional circumstances confidentiality may be broken, as in cases where a participant expresses an intention to harm another person. In such a case, we will inform you of the need to break confidentiality and will attempt to secure your cooperation before doing so.
If you have any concerns or questions about your privacy, then do not hesitate to contact us (details at the end of this Participant Information Sheet).
“Are there any risks involved in taking part?”
It is possible that in reflecting on and describing your experience of depression you may experience negative emotions and feelings. If you feel yourself becoming distressed, we recommend that you stop filling in the questionnaire and withdraw your participation by pressing the ‘permanently delete your form entry and registration information’ button. If you need to seek support, sources include: SANEline 08457 678 000 lines are open from 6pm-11pm. And Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 lines are open 24hrs.
“If I agree to complete a questionnaire now, can I change my mind?”
Yes. Participation is voluntary and you are free to stop completing the questionnaire at any time simply press the ‘permanently delete your form entry and registration information’ button and everything will be erased. You are free to return another time to complete the questionnaire by submitting a new Consent Form and submitting your questionnaire responses.
“Who developed this questionnaire?”
The questionnaire has been developed by a research team in the Philosophy Department, Durham University, UK. The Questionnaire Co-ordinator is Dr Benedict Smith, a Research Fellow in the Philosophy Department, Durham University.
“Who is organizing and funding the research behind this questionnaire?”
The project is run by researchers at Durham University, UK, and the University of Osnabrück, Germany. The funding for developing and managing the questionnaire, and the research project as a whole, comes from a joint award by the AHRC (the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council) and DFG (the German Research Foundation).
“Who has reviewed the questionnaire?”
The questionnaire has been reviewed by the Department of Philosophy Ethics Committee, Durham University.
“How will I be able to get in touch with the research team?”
There is a dedicated email address for all queries regarding the questionnaire: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is managed by the Questionnaire Co-ordinator Dr Benedict Smith.
The project website is Emotional Experience in Depression: A Philosophical Study