Department of Psychology

An investigation into potential factors that may influence experiences of OCD

Tue Oct 18 15:12:00 BST 2016

Invitation to take part in a research project

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study. Before you decide whether you want to participate it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what your participation will involve. Please read the following information carefully and feel free to ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like further information. You do not have to decide immediately whether you want to participate so feel free to take your time to consider participation. Even if you decide to participate in the project you are free to withdraw from it at any time and without giving any reason.

What is the purpose of this study?

During our childhood it is relatively common that some of us become a victim of bullying. This may be a one-off incident or an experience that lasts for years. During this experience many people may feel embarrassed, humiliated, degraded, ashamed, disgusted or even betrayed that a fellow student or even a friend can behave in such a hurtful way towards us. Sometimes such emotions can lead to a person experiencing mental health problems. Although as psychologists we have good knowledge of the relationship between anxiety and mental health issues, we have limited understanding of the role in which bullying plays in triggering anxiety and possible mental health problems. There is a possibility that the emotions and feelings mentioned above may influence obsessive-compulsive disorder to some degree. This particular study aims to expand our knowledge by investigating the possible connections between bullying, anxiety and mental health problems. We hope to identify the key emotions involved in this potential relationship.

Who can take part in this study?

We aim to recruit people who have had experiences of OCD in the past and are willing to help us in this research project. Some of these individuals will report experiences of bullying, and others will not. Please note that it is up to you to decide to join the study. If you decide to participate you can withdraw at any time, without giving a reason.

What would your participation involve?

The current study is based on a set of questionnaires that we will ask you to complete. If there are any questions however that you would rather not answer, feel free to leave these blank. We’d like to remind you that all your answers will remain confidential and will only be viewed by researchers in this study. If you wish to participate, we will need the following:

  • Your full name
  • Address (to send the pack to)

After receiving your contact details we will send you pack in the post containing a batch of questionnaires. It is vital that you complete the consent form, without which we will not be able to use your data. Once you have completed the pack, you will need to notify Chris Firmin and a freepost address will be provided so you can return the pack. You can even use the same envelope! All the data that you submit will remain confidential and will only be viewed by the researchers stated below. 

What are the possible benefits of taking part in the study?

By participating in the current study you will be furthering our knowledge of the effects of bullying and how it may lead to mental health problems. The information that we generate could help many individuals avoid such difficulties. 

Your well-being, while participating in the study

The questions in the surveys are about you, some of the answers that you give may be sensitive in nature and possibly painful to recall. If at any stage you begin to feel you have had enough, or begin to feel upset, withdraw from the study completely. Our top priority is your well-being. If you felt that you needed some support following the surveys, we would be very happy to arrange a time to talk. Two of the researchers are registered and experienced Clinical Psychologists. 

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Yes! All the information you provide will be handled in confidence and kept securely. Any personal contact details you give us will be separated from the rest of your data. We will be the only people who will have access to the research data. We will analyse it on computers which are password-protected. If you decide to withdraw from the study we will remove all your data and securely destroy your records. Your information will not in any way affect care or services you currently receive. 

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The broad scientific results of this study will be written up to form a part of a doctoral thesis. The study is also likely to be presented at academic conferences and published in suitable academic journals. You will not be personally identifiable in any presentations or published documents. If you wish, I can make a summary of the results available for you to have. 

Who has reviewed the study?

On designing this study the researchers submitted an ethics form to the department of psychology at The University of Bath. The committee reviewed the research proposal; the surveys implemented in the project and considered the possible ethical issues. After consideration this research was given full ethical approval.  (Ref.: 14-248)

Who can I contact regarding the study?

If you think you might be interested in taking part, or for an informal and confidential discussion about any aspect of the study, you can contact us:

By email: cjf30@bath.ac.uk
Twitter: @chrisjfirmin
Blog: chrisfirmin.wordpress.com
By post: Chris Firmin,
Department of Psychology, 2 South,
University of Bath, Claverton Down,
Bath, BA2 7AY

What if I become distressed as a result of participating in this research?

If you have any concerns or become distressed as a result of participating in this research please contact either Chris Firmin with the details above, Dr Claire Lomax via email c.lomax@bath.ac.uk or Professor Paul Salkovskis on 01225 385506 or via email pms33@bath.ac.uk.

What if I want to complain?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study or would like to complain please ask to speak to either Dr Claire Lomax via email at: c.lomax@bath.ac.uk or Professor Paul Salkovskis, on 01225 385506 or via email at: pms33@bath.ac.uk. Professor Paul Salkovskis or Claire Lomax will do their best to answer your questions and will deal with any complaints.

Thank you very much for your time.