Page 1: Study Information

You have been invited to take part in this research study that aims to investigate the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on people with traits or symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Before you continue, please take the time to read through the information provided below in order to decide whether you would like to take part.

Should you choose to take part in this study, all information you provide will remain anonymous and will be kept confidential in accordance with data protection laws. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the researcher.

Thank you for taking the time to consider participating in this research.

Title: An investigation into the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on state anxiety and symptom severity in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

What is the purpose of this study?

The study aims to investigate the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on individuals with traits or symptoms of OCD. In addition, the study aims to investigate the impact that advice regarding hand washing and media coverage of the pandemic are having on people with traits or symptoms of OCD.

Why am I being asked to take part?

We are asking people with OCD traits or symptoms to take part in this study in order to investigate the impact that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on their mental wellbeing.

Do I have to take part?

You do not have to take part in this study if you do not want to, and you can drop out of the study at any time. If you do decide to take part, however, you will be asked to provide consent before continuing.

What is involved in taking part?

You will be asked to complete three questionnaires in total. The first questionnaire consists of 18 statements, relating to obsessive-compulsive traits, to be rated on a short scale. The second questionnaire consists of a further 18 self-report items relating to health concerns. The third and final questionnaire relates to your experience of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and consists of 12 items. Please complete all questions in the questionnaires. You will also be asked some questions about yourself at the start of the third questionnaire. Please complete these questions too, anonymity and confidentiality will be strictly upheld at all times. The questionnaires should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.

What will happen with my data?

All responses will be anonymous and confidential, with only the researchers having access to this data. The data collected from the questionnaires will be securely stored and analysed. You can withdraw from the study however, if you have completed and submitted your responses, it will not be possible to withdraw your anonymised data.

What will happen to the results?

The results of this study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal for publication. The results may also be presented at conferences for the purpose of sharing useful information collated from this study. No identifiable information will be included for analysis or published in the results of this study, meaning that it will not be possible to identify any individual’s data.  

Confidentiality/Anonymity

All responses to the questionnaires will remain strictly confidential and any personal information will be anonymised so that you will not be identifiable in any future publications. All data will be stored securely in line with Cardiff University’s Data and Information Security protocols.

Data storage and access

Cardiff University is the Data Controller and is committed to respecting and protecting your personal data in accordance with Data Protection legislation. The University has a Data Protection Officer who can be contacted at inforequest@cardiff.ac.uk. Further information about Data Protection, including your rights and details about how to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office should you wish to complain, can be found at the following: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/public-information/policies-and-procedures/data-protection.

Under data protection law we have to specify the legal basis that we are relying on to process your personal data. In providing your personal data for this research we will process it on the basis that doing so is necessary for our public task for scientific and historical research purposes in accordance with the necessary safeguards and is in the public interest. The University is a public research institution established by royal charter to advance knowledge and education through its teaching and research activities. Our charter can be found on the Cardiff University website. You have a number of rights under data protection law and can find out more about these on our website.

Only electronic versions of the questionnaires will be administered, with no identifiable information collated. Participation will be anonymous. Data retrieved from the questionnaires will be securely stored and transferred to the appropriate statistical program in a password protected form. All data and findings will be password protected and stored for a minimum of 5 years, or 2 years post-publication if the study is published, in accordance with Cardiff University’s retention schedule.

Benefits

By participating in this study, you will be contributing to a body of research that will be of use to experts in identifying the needs of individuals with OCD traits and symptoms during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This study forms part of a new and growing area of research that aims to inform experts on how best to support individuals with OCD traits or symptoms at this time.  

Risks

There are no known risks to participating in this study.

Organization and funding

The study is being led by Dr Athanasios Hassoulas (HassoulasA2@cardiff.ac.uk), Senior Lecturer and MSc Psychiatry Programme Director at Cardiff University. The study is not receiving any form of funding.