INFORMATION AND CONSENT

You are being invited to take part in a research project about your psychological and social experiences during this period of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).

This study will involve answering a 15-minute survey now and then answering a shorter 10-minute follow-up survey once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place.

It will help to inform understanding about the effects of social isolation measures on people's mental health. The data you provide will be analysed by academic researchers at University College London.

By taking part, you are agreeing that you have read and understood the information about the study below. Please ensure you have read and understood this information before continuing.

What is this project about, and do I have to take part?

This study aims to identify how the news about coronavirus is affecting people, whether people are having to isolate, and their experiences of isolating. It aims to inform understanding about the effects of social isolation measures on people's mental health. The findings will be used to help develop ways to support people psychologically and socially during this outbreak. Participation is open to people over the age of 18 living in the UK and is entirely voluntary. You do not have to be in isolation to take part.

What will taking part involve?

You will be asked to complete one survey now and then we will send you a shorter survey once a week whilst this pandemic continues and social isolation measures are in place. You can opt out of taking part in future surveys at any point by simply ignoring the follow-up invitation. You will then automatically be withdrawn from the study.

What will you ask and what will happen to the information I give you?

You will be asked questions about yourself, your mental and physical health, whether you are isolating, and what activities you are doing if you are in isolation. Some of these questions are considered sensitive data, such as questions on your ethnicity and mental health. We will also ask you for an email address so that we can contact you for the follow-up surveys. However, this email address will be removed from the rest of the answers you give before any analysis takes place and will be deleted as soon as the study finishes. Your email address will not be passed to any third parties. Your anonymous data will then be analysed by researchers from University College London (UCL) and will be published in scientific papers and used to inform advice given during Covid-19. Nobody will be able to identify you from the anonymous data we analyse or from any publications. This study has received approval from the UCL Research Ethics Committee.

How long will my data be stored for?

Your email address will be deleted as soon as the study finishes. Your data will only be used for this study and not shared. Your anonymised data will be stored for ten years by UCL after the end of the research, at this point the data will be reviewed, and if they are still deemed to be of public interest, they may be retained for longer. Again, this will only ever be anonymised data. It will not be possible to remove your information from existing data sets once those data sets have been anonymised, because even we would be unable to identify your data.    

How do I find out the results?

Researchers at UCL will be providing open access statistical releases each week. You can sign up to receive these here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/covid19study 

Local Data Protection Privacy Notice 

Notice: The controller for this project will be University College London (UCL). The UCL Data Protection Officer provides oversight of UCL activities involving the processing of personal data, and can be contacted at data-protection@ucl.ac.uk 

This 'local' privacy notice sets out the information that applies to this particular study. Further information on how UCL uses participant information can be found in our 'general' privacy notice: For participants in health and care research studies, click here

The information that is required to be provided to participants under data protection legislation (GDPR and DPA 2018) is provided across both the 'local' and 'general' privacy notices. 

The lawful basis that will be used to process your personal data are: 'Public task' for personal data and' Research purposes' for special category data.

Your personal data will be processed so long as it is required for the research project. If we are able to anonymise or pseudonymise the personal data you provide we will undertake this, and will endeavour to minimise the processing of personal data wherever possible. 

If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, or if you would like to contact us about your rights, please contact UCL in the first instance at data-protection@ucl.ac.uk. 

Concerns

If you have any concerns about the study, you can contact the UCL study team at covid19-study@ucl.ac.uk. If you feel your concerns have not been handled satisfactorily, you can contact the Chair of the UCL Research Ethics Committee at ethics@ucl.ac.uk.

Consent

I understand that:

  • My participation is completely voluntary.
  • I will need to provide an email address so that I can be sent the future surveys to answer. However, this email address will not be passed to any third parties and will be removed from my answers before any analysis takes place, so the information I provide will be anonymised. 
  • Due to this anonymisation it will not be possible to withdraw my answers after they have been submitted, but I can withdraw from future surveys at any point. 
  • The data gathered in this study will be stored securely and it will not be possible to identify me in any outputs from this research.
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