Participant Information Sheet
You are being invited to take part in a research study. If you are 18 year or older, and are optimum weight (body mass index of 20 -25), overweight (body mass index 26 or more), or obese (body mass index over 30), then please consider participating in my research. If you do not know your body mass index, do not worry as I can work this out once you have completed the questionnaires.
But, before you make a decision, it is important for you to understand why the research is taking place, and what it will involve from you. Please take the time to read the following information sheet carefully, and discuss it with people if you so wish. Please contact me if there is anything that is not clear, or if you would like more information.
What is the purpose of the study? The purpose of this research is to explore the role of shame and self-compassion in adults of varying weights. The research has been approved by the University of Essex ethical committee and is being conducted online with guidelines stipulated by the British Psychological Society.
Who is doing this research? Allison Ritchie is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Essex, and she is conducting this research as part of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Who can participate? Anybody can participate if they are 18 years or older, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 20 or higher.
What do I have to do? If you give consent to participate in the research, you will be directed to a series of online questionnaires about your thoughts and feelings about yourself, your eating, your weight, and how you behave towards yourself. This should take between 15-20 minutes to complete. Most answers to the questions are in multiple choice formats, so you will not be required to write too many answers. You will also be asked to provide some personal information, like your height, weight, age, race, education and sex. You will not be asked to provide any identifying information like your name, surname or address, as this is an anonymous online survey.
Do I have to take part? It is up to you to decide whether to take part or not in this research. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. I will ask you to provide your date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy), as this will be your unique reference number to identify your completed questionnaires. So should you wish to withdraw from the research after completing the questionnaires, your date of birth will be used to identify your questionnaires so they can be removed from the research.
What are the possible disadvantages to taking part? Answering the question will take up some of your time (15 - 20 minutes). If you find any of the questions upsetting, then please consult the list of organisations and charities designed to offer assistance with weight, eating and thinking problems, provided at the end of this survey. Please remember you are under no obligation to complete the questionnaires. If you have any questions while completing the questionnaires, then please email me.
Will my taking part in this study be confidential? The information on the questionnaires will be strictly confidential. Your date of birth and not your name will identify you. Your medical records do not need to be inspected as part of this research, and no individually identifiable information will be passed onto anyone.
Is it safe to participate? This study has gained ethical approval from the University of Essex Ethics Committee. This means that the research is considered to be safe to participate in and that all possible associated risks of participating have been adequately addressed. Some people may find aspects of the study distressing, including thinking about their weight, eating habits, and how they regard themselves. In line with recommendations by the British Psychological Society (BPS), further information about relevant sources of support, information or help are provided at the end of the survey should you experience distress in the course of completing the survey.
What happens when the research study stops? The results will be written up by the researcher, Allison Ritchie. It will not be possible to identify you in this report. The report will be shared with staff at the University of Essex as it forms the research component of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
If you have any further questions or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the address below.
Thank you for your time and co-operation.
Allison Ritchie, Trainee Clinical Psychologist;
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
School of Health and Human Sciences
The University of Essex