Page 1: Participant Information

Thank you for considering participating in our survey. This survey takes around 30 minutes to complete, so put on some music and grab a cup of tea!

Once you start, please complete the survey in one go, as you won’t be able to come back to it later; if you need to take a break before you complete the survey, please do not switch your computer off or close your internet browser or the survey tab, otherwise your answers will be lost.

Before you decide to participate, please read the following information. For a more detailed description of the study, data confidentiality, ethical approval of the project and complaints procedure please follow this link; you will find a Participant Information document, which you can download or print for future reference.

What is the purpose of the survey?

This confidential survey aims to explore the way in which various adverse events may negatively impact on people’s well-being. We hope that findings will help us suggest improvements in the healthcare of people who experience severe distress. For this reason, we would greatly appreciate your help in participating.

Who can take part?

Any person who is 18 years old or above and has a good understanding of written and spoken English can participate in this survey. You can participate even if you have never experienced significant distress in your day-to-day life. Participation is completely voluntary and you can leave the survey by closing the survey tab before clicking the "Finish" button on the last questionnaire page. If you leave the survey, we will not keep any data you have provided on previous pages.

What do I have to do?

We will first ask you to complete a short online consent form, to make sure you are satisfied with the information provided for the study and wish to take part. We will then ask you to complete a set of questionnaires about adverse events you may have experienced, about symptoms in response to these events and about your mood, your relationships and your quality of life. Questions cover adverse events that most people are likely to experience (e.g. relationship problems, financial difficulties etc.) and events that are potentially traumatic (e.g. life-threatening illnesses/injuries/assaults, experiences of abuse and neglect etc.). We will not ask you to talk in detail about these events.

If you decide to participate, please answer each question as honestly and thoughtfully as possible. We kindly ask you this to help us make this study useful. We would like you to complete all questions, however, you can choose to not answer any specific question that you find too sensitive, upsetting or inappropriate. You can also go to previous pages to edit or remove your answers, but you can only do so before clicking the "Finish" button on the last questionnaire page.   

This is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers; we are only interested in your own personal experiences. If you cannot find an answer that fits exactly, choose the one that comes closest.

What will I get out of taking part?

When you complete the survey, you can choose to enter our draw prize for an iPad mini and/or to receive a summary e-copy of the overall study findings when they become available to the public.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

It is possible that you become upset when answering questions that remind you of adverse experiences in your life. This is an understandable reaction. If you become upset or would like to discuss any issues that come up for you during the survey, please contact your General Practitioner. You can also browse through mental health websites you will find on this page. You can keep this page open during your participation in this study. You can also follow this link to dowload/print a list of the above mental health websites for future reference.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

Your answers will be anonymous, purely recorded for research purposes and kept confidentially within the research team. All data you provide are collected over encrypted Secure Sockets Layer connections and stored on secure password protected servers. There are strict laws which safeguard your privacy at every stage.

If you want to enter our draw prize or receive a summary e-copy of the study findings, we will ask for your e-mail address. E-mails are stored in a separate database and cannot be linked to questionnaire responses; in this way your data will remain anonymous.

Your anonymized data may be used in future ethically approved research, but your e-mail will not be shared with any third parties. We do not collect any other personal information.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, which you would like to discuss, please contact the researcher, Erifili Efthymiadou, on E.Efthymiadou@sms.ed.ac.uk