PARTCIPANT INFORMATION SHEET
A mixed methods exploratory evaluation of an online mental health service during the COVID - 19 pandemic.
You are invited to participate in a research study that intends to evaluate the online mental health service www.covidav.com
The results generated by the questionnaires will be used for scientific analysis and interpretation. Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.
Please note that submission of the completed questionnaire constitutes consent to the current research.
Dr Ravindra Agrawal, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Society of Goa
Dr Abhijit Nadkarni , Sangath, Goa
What is the purpose of the study?
The COVID 19 pandemic and the consequent preventive lockdown, has resulted not only the increased mental distress but also restricted access to mental health services. This compounded the hardships faced by the general public, needing an urgent and innovative solution. The Psychiatric Society of Goa tied up with a tech start - up, NGOs from the mental health sector in Goa, and the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Goa to speedily launch an online appointment scheduling portal www.covidav.com which linked-up the persons in distress with volunteer psychiatrists and psychologists providing pro-bono clinical services.
We want to evaluate the experience of setting up this helpline, mitigation of the barriers faced, acceptability and feasibility of this novel initiative. We want to document the process and the evidence, so that it informs endeavours in future health emergencies.
Who will be invited to enter the study?
You are eligible to participate in this study because you have registered with the website www.covidav.com
Do you have a choice?
Participation in this study is voluntary. If you decide not to participate in this study, your care by volunteers of www.covidav.com will not be affected at all. If you wish to withdraw from the study once it has started, you can do so at any time without having to give a reason.
What will happen on the study?
If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete 2 sets of questionnaires about 2 weeks apart:
The link to the second set of questionnaires will be sent after 2 weeks of completing the first set of questionnaires..
The usual amount of time required to complete the questionnaires mentioned above is around 10 minutes for each set . This study will be conducted over a 24 month period.
Are there any risks ?
Some people may find that some of the questions included in the questionnaires cause them distress. You are not obliged to continue the survey if you feel distressed at any time.
Are there any benefits?
Information collected in this project will be analyzed and interpreted for scientific purposes only. The information generated in this study will help the researchers to study if the project such as www.covidav.com is acceptable and a feasible intervention. This will help the health organisations to implement effective help strategies in future health emergencies.
Will taking part in this study cost me anything,, and will I be paid?
Participation in this study will not cost you anything. Your participation is totally voluntary and you will not be reimbursed.
What happens with the results?
The findings will help us refine the service. The authors of this project plan to publish the results of this study in scientific journals, presentations at conferences and similar professional forums. Results of this study will not be used in any commercial action.
Will my responses be kept anonymous?
Yes, all the information that you provide during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential. The responses you give will be assigned a participant number on submission and therefore all answers will be unidentifiable. The results will always be presented in a manner that preserves the anonymity of those taking part.
Who do I contact if I have a concern about the study or I wish to complain?
If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please contact:
Dr Ravindra Agrawal
401//BB,, Antarman Centre, Sunteck Kanaka Corporate Park, Patto - Panaji, Goa
E - mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone no. : +91 9623453635
Chairperson, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Sangath, India.
Address: Sangath, H No 451 (1168), Bhatkar Waddo, Socorro, Porvorim, Bardez, Goa, India (4403501).
E - mail: email@example.com
Phone no. : +91 7887872345