Participant Information Sheet

Study Title: Understanding voice hearers' ideas about themselves and their voices

Before you consent to participating in the study we ask that you read the participant information then click onto the link below if you agree to take part. If you have any questions or queries about taking part in the study, please email the principal investigator, Kelly Price (k.price1@lancaster.ac.uk).

Introduction

My name is Kelly Price and I am conducting this research as part of a doctoral programme in clinical psychology. I would like to invite you to take part in my research. Before you decide, you need to understand why this research is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take time to read the following information carefully. If you have questions about the study or about what it involves for you, please contact me. You do not have to make the decision at this time, so if you have any doubts or feel unsure please take some time to think it over.

What is the purpose of the study?

I am carrying out this research because I would like to find out more about experiences of psychosis. In particular, I would like to find out how adverse life experiences may have an impact on experiences that are related to psychosis. Also, I am interested to know if your experience of voice hearing and possible self harm are linked or not. In particular I would like to know whether the way voice hearers view themselves may be protective.

If you have, at some point in your life experienced psychosis, I would like to invite you to take part in my research by completing an online survey. You do not have to have experience of self harm to be involved in the study.

The aim of the study is to better understand the some of the experiences of voice hearers. I hope that this will contribute to wider knowledge for professionals and influence some of our clinical practice when working with clients.

Do I have to take part?

You do not have to take part. If you decide you would like to, and you continue to the survey, you can also stop at any point throughout the survey if you change your mind. You are free to refuse to take part, without giving a reason. It will not be possible to withdraw once you have completed the survey as your data will be anonymised.

What will I be asked to do if I take part?

If you agree to take part, you will be directed to an online survey. This survey will ask you questions related to early experiences of trauma, questions about unusual experiences, about your experiences of self harm (if you have any) and about the feelings you have towards yourself. Some of the questions in this survey may be very sensitive for you. These include items on childhood bullying, sexual abuse, stressful events, and symptom experiences. Examples of the items are as follows:

  1. "You were deliberately attacked severely by someone with whom you were very close"
  2. "You were made to have some form of sexual contact, such as touching or penetration, by someone with whom you were very close (such as a parent or lover)"
  3. "Do you ever feel as if you are being persecuted in some way?"
  4. "Do you ever feel as if there is no future for you?"
If you have self harmed, I am interested in your reasons for this. You will be asked to rate statements about your self-harm and how relevant these are to you on a scale. For example, you will be asked if you have ever self harmed to:
  • calm yourself down
  • let others know the extent of my emotional pain
  • try to feel something (as opposed to nothing) even if it is physical pain
I will not be asking you to provide descriptions of your self-harm.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

Although I cannot promise that the study will help you, participation in this study may provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your feelings and experiences. Research findings obtained during the study will also help us to better understand the experiences of people who hear voices, and may potentially be used to improve psychological treatments.

If you would like me to email you a summary of the findings when the study is complete, please fill in your email address in the box provided at the end of the survey, and tick the box 'summary of findings'. Email addresses will always be stored separately from the survey answers so that anonymity will be maintained.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

I do not anticipate that your participation will cause you distress. However, if you do experience distress you may discontinue the survey at any time. At the bottom of this page, and on completion of the survey, there is a list of contact details of various support services that you may contact if you experience distress as a result of participating.

What will happen if I don't want to carry on with the study?

If you withdraw from the study, I will delete all the data collected up to your withdrawal.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

Yes, I will follow ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in strict confidence.

The data collected during the study will be stored in a secure place and only the project researchers will have access to it. Data files stored on the computer will be password protected. No names or addresses will be included and it will not be possible for me to know which responses were made by you as it will be anonmymised. All participants will be identified only by numbers in any computerised data files used in the analyses of the results.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results of the research will be included in a report that will be submitted for examination by Lancaster University. The results may also be published within an academic journal, and may be presented at conferences. There will be no personal information about any of the people who participate within any of these reports or presentations.

Who is involved in this research?

Research Role Name Address Contact
Chief Investigator Kelly Price Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme
Faculty of Health & Medicine
Furness College
Lancaster
k.price1@lancaster.ac.uk
01524 592970
Field Supervisor Dr Helena Rose Clinical Psychologist
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust
Academic Supervisors Ian Fletcher & Bill Sellwood Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme
Faculty of Health & Medicine
Furness College
Lancaster
i.j.fletcher@lancaster.ac.uk
b.sellwood@lancaster.ac.uk
01524 592970

If you have any experience during your participation that you are unhappy with and wish to make a complaint, please contact:

Dr Jane Simpson Director of Research
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Division of Health Research Furness Building Lancaster University Bailrigg
Lancaster LA1 4YG United Kingdom

E-mail: j.simpson2@lancaster.ac.uk
Tel: 01524 592858

OR

Professor Roger Pickup Associate Dean for Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD

Email: r.pickup@lancaster.ac.uk
Tel: 01524 593718

Where can I obtain further information if I need it?

Should you have any questions regarding this study, please contact Kelly Price at k.price1@lancaster.ac.uk or telephone 07508375658.

The following is a list of services you may contact for support, advice, or in emergency:

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. You can contact them to talk through anything that is troubling you. For more information visit their website, or contact them on:

Website: www.samaritans.org Telephone: 08457 90 90 90 Email: jo@samaritans.org

Victim Support

If you've been a victim of any crime or have been affected by a crime committed against someone you know, they can help you find the strength to deal with what you've been through. The services are free and available to everyone, whether or not the crime has been reported and regardless of when it happened.

See more at: www.victimsupport.org.uk Or Call: 0845 30 30 900

Weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 9am to 7pm, bank holidays 9am to 5pm

Your GP

Should you experience distress as a result of completing this survey, we recommend that you contact your local GP surgery to speak to seek the appropriate support.

Your local Mental Health Assessment Team and/or care coordinator

Should you experience distress and you are already have contact with local mental health services, we advise that you seek support from them or your identified care coordinator.

Mind

Mind is a charity organisation, providing advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health difficulty.

Should you experience distress and wish to access support services, you can contact Mind on their phone lines which are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays) on 0300 123 3393
Or email: info@mind.org.uk
Or text: 86463

You can access more information at: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/ and http://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/

Thank you for reading this information sheet. Here is a link to the online study:

https://lancasteruni.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8f6V6F222o2pJ7n