Participant Information Sheet

The Psychological Impact of Benefits Sanctions Following the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) Process for People with a Mental Health Diagnosis

My name is Helen McGauley and I am conducting research as part of my DClinPsy Doctorate at Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

What is the study about?

The purpose of the study is to understand the psychological impact on people who have been sanctioned as a result of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). I would like to know more about what the process was like for you and what impact it has had on your mental health, if any.

What is the purpose of this study?

The study forms part of my Doctoral thesis. The study aims to understand participants experiences of the assessment and how they have been able to cope as a result of being sanctioned. The study will focus particularly on the psychological and social experiences of each participant.

Who are we looking for?

I am hoping to interview anyone between the ages of 18 and 64. You will need to have a mental health diagnosis and have had your benefits sanctioned in some way as a result of the Work Capability Assessment process.

Do I have to take part?

It is entirely up to you whether or not you take part. If you do decide to take part then you will be given this information sheet to keep and will be asked to sign a consent form. Please remember that you are free to withdraw from the study at any time without having to give a reason.

What will be required of me?

You will be invited to be interviewed for around one hour. I can meet at a location that is convenient for you or we can use talk using Skype but please note that due to the nature of the internet, Skype is not considered a secure network. I am able to reimburse any travel expenses up to the value of £20.

Will my data be identifiable?

The typed version of your interview will be made anonymous by removing any identifying information including your name. Anonymised direct quotations from your interview may be used in the reports or publications from the study and your name will never be attached to them. There are some limits to participant confidentiality: if what is said in the interview makes me think that you, or someone else, is at significant risk of harm, I will have to break confidentiality and speak to a member of staff about this. If possible, I will inform you if I have to do this.

What will happen to the results?

The results will be summarised and reported as part of my thesis and may be submitted for publication in an academic or professional journal.

Your rights as a participant

If at any time during or after the research you decide that you no longer want to participate, you are free to withdraw at any point. You may also decline to answer any questions. All data obtained will be kept strictly confidential and any information used will be anonymised.

Are there any risks?

There are no risks anticipated with participating in this study. However, if you experience any distress following participation you are encouraged to inform the researcher and contact the resources that are provided below.

Are there any benefits to taking part?

Although you may find participating interesting, there are no direct benefits in taking part.

Who has reviewed the project?

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Ethics Committee at Lancaster University.

Contact Details

If you require any further information and/or have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact me:
Helen McGauley - email:
or my supervisors, Dr. Pete Greasley email: or
Dr. Ste Weatherhead email:

Where can I obtain further information about the study if I need it?

You can contact: Helen McGauley - email:
or my supervisors, Dr. Pete Greasley email: or
Dr. Ste Weatherhead email:


If you wish to make a complaint of raise concerns about any aspect of this study and you do not
want to speak to the researcher you can contact:
Professor Bill Sellwood
Course Director,
Clinical Psychology Doctorate,
Furness Building
Lancaster University
Tel: 01524 593998

Professor Roger Pickup,
Associate Dean for Research,
Faculty of Health and Medicine (Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences),
Lancaster University,
Tel: 01524 593746

Resources in the event of distress:

Should you feel distressed either as a result of taking part, or in the future, the following resources may be of assistance:
Samaritans 24 hour helpline: 08457 909090
Citizens Advice Bureau: 03454 04 05 06
Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393 or text: 86463