Before you decide whether you would like to take part in this research study, you need to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information – our contact details are at the end of this page. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.
If there is anything that is not clear, or if you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Stewart (). Thank you for reading this.
What is the purpose of this study?
This study seeks to investigate the kinds of images that pop into people’s minds. Researchers have found that people with particular mental health problems can experience particular types of images, and we are starting to learn how these images may be an important feature of mental health problems. By finding out more about these images, we hope to find new psychological approaches for helping people to overcome their mental health problems. Currently we know very little about the images experienced by people with hoarding disorder.
We are looking for:
People with Hoarding Disorder (HD)
People from the ‘typical’ population (i.e., people with no current mental health difficulties)
What will I have to do if I take part?
The study will take places in two stages:
An initial telephone conversation with a member of the research team to make sure that the study is appropriate for you. This will take 10-15 minutes. Following this, if you do decide to take part, we will ask you to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw from the study at any time. This will be followed by a telephone interview about the kinds of images that pop into your mind, both during everyday life and also in situations relating to discarding objects. This will take 30-45 minutes.
4 questionnaires to fill out. These can either be completed online during the telephone call, or they can be completed afterwards (online or returned by freepost). This will take another 10-20 minutes.
The telephone conversation will be recorded to help me remember everything that we talk about. You will be asked to say on the consent form that you are happy with this. Please note that you may still take part if you do not wish for the conversation to be recorded.
Will my experiences and reports be kept confidential?
Yes. All information which is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept confidential and will conform to the Data Protection Act of 1998. This means that all paper-based and electronic information will be securely stored in a locked cupboard and password protected, with access restricted to study personnel. Your name and other details that could identify you will be removed from the information you give at interview. Your contact details will be stored separately from your interview data so that the two cannot be linked. To ensure that all the valuable information that you provide will be captured, the study will use a digital audio recorder with your consent. The recordings will be destroyed on completion of the study.
We hope to report our findings in academic/health related journals and present them to relevant health professionals at meetings and conferences. The findings will also contribute to Nick Stewart’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Do I have to take part?
No, and if you do decide to take part you can change your mind at any time.
Are there any advantages/benefits from taking part?
We cannot promise the study will help you directly but the information collected from you and other participants may help to improve our understanding about hoarding and what may be effective in its treatment. If you complete testing you will be given a £5 Amazon voucher and the opportunity if you so wish to donate £1 to a Hoarding Charity (“Hoarding UK”, a not-for-profit Hoarding organisation which provides support and resources to those who hoard or are affected by it).
Are there any disadvantages/risks from taking part?
The disadvantages of taking part should be minimal beyond the inconvenience of completing the questionnaires. Nevertheless, your wellbeing is always of utmost importance to us and as many of the questions asked are about your mental health, these might be potentially sensitive topics and might be upsetting. If you do not wish to continue at any point you will be free to stop. At the end of the study we will provide contact details for additional sources of support. You will also have the opportunity to speak to a member of the research team if you would like to.
What if there is a problem?
If you have any concerns or wish to complain about any aspect of the way you have been approached or treated during this study, you should initially contact the researchers, Nick Stewart or Dr James Gregory, who will do their best to answer your questions. All contact details are provided at the end of this information sheet.
What to do next if I’m interested?
If you would like to participate or wish to discuss the study further, then please use the contact details below to contact Nick or James.
Being contacted to participate in future research.
We will ask you if you would like to be contacted in the future regarding other potential research projects. You do not have to consent to being contacted in the future at all, but if you would like to be contacted, your details will be kept on file in secure and restricted folders which are password protected on an electronic database. Only the key supervisors for this research project will have access to this information and no other information will be stored about you in these folders. It would only be members of the research team who would contact you for future research and your information would not be shared with others.
This study has been approved by the University of Bath Psychology Ethics Committee (Reference Number: 17-123).
If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this research, you can contact the Chair of the Ethics Committee, Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, phone: (01225) 383061.
Thank you for taking time to read this information.
Clinical Psychologist in Training
University of Bath
Dr James Gregory (Research Supervisor)
University of Bath
Tel: 01225 386120
For more online psychology studies visit www.onlinepsychresearch.co.uk
The study is now complete and I am analysing the findings. If you would like to receive a summary of the results when they are available, please email