Participant Information Sheet

What is the aim of this study?

We are conducting this study to find out how different types of extremely challenging military experiences affect active duty UK Service Members and Veterans. We are particularly interested in hearing about military experiences that may have caused you to question the kind of person you are or the kind of world we live in. These are things that you feel you may have done or failed to do, or things that others did or failed to do.

If you had a frightening experience during your military service but it didn't cause you to question yourself or others you may still be able to join in our study.

What will the study involve?

The study will involve filling in a brief online questionnaire which should take you no more than 20 minutes. The questionnaire will be about your thoughts, feelings and beliefs since your challenging experience. We will not ask you for any personal information which could identify you at all. We will never aim to identify you from your answers.

There is also the option to take part in a telephone interview with a study researcher. The interview will be about your thoughts, feelings and beliefs since your challenging experience and how the event may have affected you. The interview will last around 60 minutes and you will be asked to give verbal consent. With your agreement, we will audio-record the interview, so we can carry out a detailed examination of responses to our interviews. If you’re interested in taking part in the interview portion of this study, please provide your contact details on the final screen of the online questionnaire or contact the study researcher directly (details below). Your contact details will not be linked to your assessments and will only be available to the researcher. Your contact details will only be used to provide you with further information about the study.

If you had a frightening or upsetting experience during your military service but it did not cause you to question yourself, others and the world around you, you will be asked to fill in some brief questionnaires about your wellbeing. We will not ask you for any personal information which could identify you. We will never aim to identify you from your answers.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There is no direct intended benefit to taking part, although some people find it helpful to have the chance to express their feelings about distressing events. It is hoped that the things you tell us will help us better understand how service personnel and Veterans may have been affected by a wide variety of military and warzone experiences, which will help us find better ways of meeting the needs of those who serve.

Expenses and payments

As a thank you for taking part in this study, participants will be given the chance to be entered into a £50 prize draw as part of the online questionnaire. If you wish to be entered, please provide your email address on the final screen so you can be contacted if you are drawn. Personal information collected for the purpose of the prize draw will be stored separately to questionnaire responses and will only be available to the researcher. It will not be used for any other purposes.

Participants who take part in the study interview will also be offered £20.00 as a thank you for their time.

Confidentiality

As above, we know these are sensitive topics, and we want to assure you that this survey is anonymous and 100% confidential. Your responses will be combined with those of many other Veterans and will never be connected to you personally. The investigators will not be able to identify you. As such, researchers will not be able to destroy your data if you chose to withdraw from the study. Your assessments will be kept for 10-years following completion of the study and then will be destroyed. The assessments that you complete will be stored under an anonymous ID number and will be kept securely in locked cabinets or on secure servers at King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR). 

The results of this study may be published to help others who have experienced potentially upsetting experiences, but we would not publish any details that might identify you.  We will also make some anonymous study data available to other scientists; we would not share your personal details or other information that is likely to identify you. 

If you take part in the study interview, we will use an independent company to help us transcribe the interviews. Any data sent to or from the transcriber will be password protected and sent securely. The transcriber will destroy all study files after transcription. This transcriber has helped us with several research projects in the past and they will sign a confidentiality agreement.

Has this research been approved by an ethics committee?

Yes, this research has been approved by King’s College London Research Ethics Committee (RESCM-17/18-4002).

For more information

If you require any further information or have any questions about this study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Victoria Williamson who oversees this study at King’s College London. Her contact details are:

Dr Victoria Williamson:

Address: King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King’s College London, Weston Education Centre, 10 Cutcombe Road, London, SE5 9RJ

Tel: 0207 8485347 / 07490092960

Email:  victoria.williamson@kcl.ac.uk

If this study has harmed you in any way?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions [Prof Neil Greenberg & Dr Victoria Williamson]. Their contact details are:

Prof Neil Greenberg

Address: King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King’s College London, Weston Education Centre, 10 Cutcombe Road, London, SE5 9RJ

Tel: 0207 848 5351

Email: neil.greenberg@kcl.ac.uk

Dr Victoria Williamson

Address: King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King’s College London, Weston Education Centre, 10 Cutcombe Road, London, SE5 9RJ

Tel: 0207 8485347 / 07490092960

Email: victoria.williamson@kcl.ac.uk

In the event that something does go wrong and you are harmed during the research then you may have grounds for legal action for compensation against King’s College London but you may have to pay your legal costs. King’s College London maintains adequate insurance to cover any liabilities arising from the study.

 

Thank you very much for reading this information sheet. We hope that you decide to take part in this study.