Participant Information Sheet

Mental health and Deafness: Interpreters' perspectives on compassion and the development of and barriers to the therapeutic alliance between a clinician and their Deaf client

My name is Laura Wedlock and I am conducting this research as a third year student in the clinical psychology doctorate at Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.

What is the study about?

The research wants to talk to BSL/English interpreters about their role in the development of a therapeutic relationship between a hearing clinician and a client who is Deaf. It is hoped that the research will identify factors that influence the therapeutic relationship. Compassion is a central feature to the development of this relationship, and this research also hopes to better understand how this is communicated and understood through an interpreter.

Why have I been asked to take part?

You have been invited to take part because you are a BSL/English interpreter. The study seeks information from people who experience both sides of the therapeutic relationship within mental health services. Interpreters play a vital role in facilitating the communication between clinicians and Deaf individuals. It is hoped that your knowledge can help improve understanding of what the needs of clients are, what clinicians can do to facilitate the development of positive relationships, and how services need to change in order to provide support for this demographic.

Do I have to take part?

No. It's completely up to you whether or not you want to take part. Choosing not to take part will have no impact on your work. You also have the right to withdraw from the study up to two weeks following your interview if you choose. If you decide you would not like your data to be used, please notify me within two weeks and your data will be destroyed.

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

If you decide you would like to take part, you would be interviewed either in person or via telephone/skype. This interview would last around an hour and be recorded using a digital recording device.

You will be asked to discuss your experiences of interpreting for Deaf individuals, and your opinions about the development of therapeutic relationships. I will ask you some questions, but you will also be free to share experiences and ideas you feel are relevant. Once the interview is complete, you will be given a debrief sheet to take away with you.

Will my data be kept confidential and secure?

Any personal data will be kept confidential and separately from your interview responses. Your interview will be typed into a transcript, and any identifying information including your name will be removed. Once your interview is typed into a transcript, the recording will be deleted. Transcripts will only be accessible to me and my supervisory team who oversee the work I conduct. At the end of the study, copies of your consent form and transcript will be kept securely by Lancaster University for ten years. At the end of this period, they will be destroyed.

There are however some limits to confidentiality. If what is said in the interview makes me think that you, or someone else, are at significant risk of harm, I will have to break confidentiality and speak to my supervisory team. If possible, I will tell you if I have to do this. Also, while every effort will be made, it is not possible to ensure confidentiality of participation if interviews take place on work premises during the working day. Finally, if you choose to be interviewed by Skype, I am not in a position to fully guarantee confidentiality due to the nature of online communications.

What will happen to the results?

The results will be summarised and reported in a thesis. This final report will be shared with Lancaster University, external markers, and may be submitted for publication in an academic or professional journal. Anonymised direct quotations from your interview may be used in the write up of the study, so your name will not be attached to them.

You are welcome to request a lay summary of the results once the research is completed.

Are there any risks?

There are no risks anticipated with participating in this study and it is highly unlikely that you will experience any distress following interview. However, you will be provided with a debrief sheet following interview, which will include the contact details of some support sources should you require them.

Are there any benefits to taking part?

Although you may find participating interesting, there are no direct benefits in taking part. People who participate in interview based research often find the process rewarding.

Who has reviewed the project?

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

What next? And where can I obtain further information about the study if I need it?

If you are happy to take part, please let me know and I will be in touch to arrange a convenient time for the interview. Interviews can be conducted face to face, via telephone or skype. We can discuss which method will be most convenient for you.

If you could read, sign and return the provided consent form, this would be most appreciated. This allows us to proceed to the interview stage. If you would like to return the consent form, or have any questions about the study, please contact the main researcher:

Laura Wedlock

Telephone: 07508406297
Post: Division of Health research, Clinical Psychology, Furness College, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YG

You can also contact the research supervisors via email:

Dr Ian Fletcher

Lancaster University

Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos

Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Rachel Lever

John Denmark Unit, Manchester


If you wish to make a complaint or raise concerns about any aspect of this study and do not want to speak to the researcher, you can contact:

Professor Bill Sellwood

Tel: (01524) 593998
Programme Director, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Faculty of Health and Medicine
(Division of Health Research)
Lancaster University

If you wish to speak to someone outside of the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme, you may also contact:

Professor Roger Pickup

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

Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet.