Participant Information Sheet

The role of emotional factors in obsessive-compulsive experiences

My name is Lucy Rathbone and I am a trainee clinical psychologist. I am conducting this research as a trainee from the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology programme at Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

What is the study about?

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between different emotions and obsessive-compulsive experiences. To do this, I will be collecting responses to different questionnaires, some which consider participants' emotions, like disgust and anxiety, and one which looks at participants' experiences of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. This information may help in understanding which emotions lead to which compulsive activities, for example washing or checking behaviours. A better understanding of these difficulties may support the development of more effective interventions.

Who can take part?

You are eligible to participate in this research study if you meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You are English speaking or able to answer the questionnaire in English
  • You are able to provide informed consent to participate
  • You are able to access and complete the questionnaire (and have not completed it before)
  • You either have a formal diagnosis of OCD given by a medical professional or feel you have significant levels of obsessive thoughts (such as worries about hygiene or causing someone harm) and/ or compulsive behaviours (such as repetitive hand washing or checking that doors are locked)

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

Firstly, you will be asked to read some information and then give your consent to participate in the study. Once you have provided your consent, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires. As mentioned above, some of the questionnaires ask about emotions and one questionnaire asks about obsessions and compulsions. The questionnaire is likely to take around 20 minutes to complete. You will only be able to complete this study once.

What will stop me from taking the questionnaire again?

To ensure the data we collect is accurate and reliable, it is important that participants only complete the questionnaire once. Therefore, after you have completed the questionnaire, the survey software will place a cookie on your browser. This setting is in place to prevent people from completing the study more than once.

Will others know that I have taken part?

You are free to talk about your involvement with whoever you wish, however your participation in the study will not be shared by the researcher. All participants can take part in this research confidentially, as we will not ask for your name. If you wish to contact the research team for any reason, you are welcome to do this, and you can choose whether you wish to share any personal information with us. Any such correspondence will be stored securely to keep your identity and participation private, and your personal details will not be linked to your questionnaire responses.

However, if, when contacting the research team, you share any information which leads us to worry about the safety of you or anyone else, then we may be required to share this information with someone who can help to ensure that everyone is kept safe. This may involve passing on your details to the emergency services or a family member. Where possible and safe to do so, the decision to breach confidentiality in this way will be shared with you.

Will my data be safe?

The information you provide will not be identifiable and will remain completely anonymous in all documents produced during the study. The data collected for this study will be stored securely and only the researchers conducting this study will have access to this data. Data will be deleted 10 years after the completion of the study.

What if I change my mind?

You are free to withdraw from the study at any time prior to completing the questionnaires and submitting your responses. After this time, you are no longer able to withdraw your data as it will be anonymous and I will not know which set of responses belongs to you.

What will happen to the results?

The results will be summarised and reported in a piece of academic work known as the Thesis. A briefer summary report will be circulated amongst the organisations which advertised the study once the study has been reviewed. The research may also be submitted for publication in an academic or professional journal. If published, the paper will be listed on the ResearchGate page of the main researcher, where you will be able to request a copy. Again, no participants will be identifiable in the research.

Are there any risks?

There are no risks anticipated with participating in this study. However, if you experience any distress after completing the questionnaires then you are encouraged to contact the resources provided on the list below. This list will be available to you throughout the questionnaire. Please be aware that if, when contacting one of the listed organisations, you share information which suggests you, or someone else, might be at risk of harm, then the organisation may be required to pass this information on to someone who can help directly, like the emergency services.

Are there any benefits to taking part?

Although there are no direct benefits to taking part, I hope you will find participating interesting and worthwhile. This study aims to improve our understanding of the nature of obsessive-compulsive experiences. A better understanding of this may inform the development of effective support for people with such difficulties. The study will not provide participants with any individual feedback.

Who has reviewed the project?

This study has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee of the National Health Service UK.

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

If you have any questions about the study please contact the main researcher:

Lucy Rathbone - Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Address: Division of Health Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Furness College, Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YG, UK


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:

Jane Simpson - Education Director for the Division of Health Research
Telephone: 01524 592858
Address: Division of Health Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Furness College, Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YG, UK

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

Professor Roger Pickup - Associate Dean for Research
Telephone: 01524 593746
Address: Division of Biomedical and Life Science
Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YG, UK

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

Please follow the link below to proceed to the study:

The password is: survey