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THE IMPACT OF PARTNERSHIP WORKING ON THE WELL BEING OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN SCOTLAND WHO MISUSE ALCOHOL
The purpose of the project will be to determine how partnership working may be able to positively support the well being of young people between the ages of 12 – 18 who abuse alcohol leading to suicidal mental health problems. The significance of this problem to professional public health practice is the high cost of alcohol abuse on the Scottish economy and the relatively high incidences of suicide and suicidal ideation as a result of alcohol abuse in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK.
The Project assumes that effective partnership working will deliver positive outcomes in reducing the number of young sufferers in the short term leading to a fall in the national statistics of those misusing alcohol. This will be researched using a qualitative methodology to highlight the main conceptual foundations and theory, and discuss face to face with relevant stakeholders such as young addiction sufferers, managers and staff of statutory and non statutory services and policy makers. While partnership working is a very positive concept the practice of this has proved to be quite difficult which this research will further evaluate.
There was a recent alcohol bill which was passed by the Scottish parliament. In a meeting to discuss the passage of this bill, conference delegates felt the bill did not go far enough as Scotland spends between £2.25 billion and £3billion a year dealing with alcohol abuse (SAMH, 2010). The conference delegates also gave a strong link between alcohol abuse and suicide. There needs to be engagement with young people before they get to the age where they are pressurised to drink. This research has placed this age at about 12- 18. The conference also recommended that there needs to be action taken to improve the dual diagnosis between mental health problems and alcohol problems (SAMH, 2010).
Nearly all the literature to be reviewed would be current for instance, no more than the last 5 – 10 years. The literature will mainly be sourced electronically with some text book used. The research will concentrate on two main sources. A study undertaken by the Centre for Suicide Prevention at the University of Manchester which stated that one-third of in-patient suicide is preventable (DH, 2002a). Alcohol and drugs misuse means that Scots are twice as more likely to kill or take their own life compared with those in England and Wales. The report’s findings concluded that alcohol and drugs were the most pressing mental health problem in Scotland and mental health services should play there part; they must dedicate services for dual diagnosis and establish close links with addictive services (Appleby, 2008).
An evidence based study by the National Suicide Prevention Group (2010) states that the desired outcomes are to reduce suicide by 20 per cent by 2013. It listed a set of objectives in order to achieve the desired outcomes. The research used a qualitative case study research design to evaluate the national objectives from resulting into local actions in Edinburgh.
However, this research will be challenged by the fact that there are widespread differences across local areas in definitions of what constitutes high risk suicidal behaviour and the range of activities developed to address the problem. It is for this reason that a multi disciplinary approach through partnership working may address this problem more effectively.
I have made a literature search and discovered that there is a gap in knowledge and partnership working between these Scottish agencies regarding the links between alcohol abuse and mental health / suicide which will make this research current, timely and original.
Therefore the research question will be:
How can partnership working improve the well being of young people with mental health problems who are suicidal and misuse alcohol?
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim will therefore be to foster partnership working between the services mentioned in order to deliver a more effective strategy for managing and supporting young people suffering from suicidal ideation as a result of alcohol misuse.
In order to answer this question a set of objectives have been drawn and will be tested:
- To establish the connection between alcohol misuse and suicide.
- To consider each of the major service’s current policies, good practices and intervention on alcohol misuse and mental health
- To consider what current partnership working are taking place, and develop strategies to encourage health and social services providers to work together
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
The research will be qualitative, drawing its evidence based practice on two major concepts or theories: partnership working and co-morbity.
The Scottish government (2004) stated that effective inter agency working and better communication are essential to provide an integrated response to the needs of people with mental health and substance misuse issues. Some of the strategies it listed to achieve this include improved networking and better interagency protocols between different agencies. Second, information sharing protocols outlining how information should be shared between agencies. Third, communication agreements between service users, providers and commissioners should also be explicitly addressed.
The research will use the works of Glasby et al (2006) in this regard. In Pursuit of more joint up services, a number of models have developed integrating health and social care structures. In theory this can lead to a more seamless service, user centred and emphasis on prevention and rehabilitation, greater continuity of care and improved access to services. However, key concerns include the difficulty in combining medical and social models of care, as this will be the case between the mental health service (social) and substance misuse agency (health). Kodna and Kyriacou (2000) discuss the different range of models supporting partnership working. In the UK partnership working between health and social care was a central feature of the then labour government which was keen on more joint up solutions to resolve joint up problems (Glasby and Littlechild, 2000).
Some of the more popular partnership arrangements being adopted in the UK include care trusts, use of the Health Act flexibilities, Joint Appointments and the use of staff secondments and joint management arrangements. This research will propose service level agreements for health and social care.
The NHS improvement plan, the White Paper, Our Health Our Care Our Say which proposed joined up inspections, workforce development and commissioning. Therefore, partnership working is likely to be key for some years to come. While Glasby et al (2006) appreciates that there are limitations to our existing knowledge the literature on partnership working. However, the literature can be criticised for focusing too much on policy makers and managers therefore this research will solicit the views of service users, carers and frontline staff. Also, much of the literature is descriptive, emphasising the perceived virtues of partnership working without necessarily citing evidence for the claims made. This research will avoid this by placing narrative accounts in the context of existing theories of organisational behaviour and analyse the dynamics of relationships that grow over a period of time. More also need to be done on the outcomes of partnership working where this exists, and not just the process (Dowling et al, 2004).
Some of the areas relate to partnership working which will be analysed will include models of integration, the management and governance of partnerships, the outcomes of integrated service provisions. In recent times partnership working has been difficult to achieve, and may lose its credibility without additional work to clarify its meaning and contribution (Dickinson and Glasby, 2010). Also there were pitfalls in the ways the partnerships were established and put into practice.
Perkins and Smith (2010) did a study on the findings of a review of the impact of partnership working on public health and established that there was little evidence to demonstrate that partnerships have produced better health outcomes for the targeted users or reduced health inequalities.
Edgren (2008) challenges the traditional top down way of managing particularly in complex interdependent organisations. This means partnership working will be more relevant where all the major stakeholders have a say in management of a service and not merely consulted upon. Therefore it is imperative to understand how organisations work before assuming partnership working. The traditional model of systems theory view organisations as machines. This theory is unworkable due to the complex nature of interdependent organisations where many agents are interconnected as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). This means that systems change as a result of successive adaptations focusing on the interaction and communication between agents. This approach however, is not widely applied to the management of integrated care (Edgren, 2008).
The research will define co-morbity. Crome (1999) which is used to define co-occurrence of two or more different disorders such as the presence of substance misuse disorders (alcohol) and psychotic disorders (suicide ideation) another similar term is dual diagnosis (WHO, 1994). There are three models of treatments. Serial treatment is where treatment is done consecutively with no communication between the services. The success rate of this is low. Parallel treatment means treatment occurs together with drugs and mental health services liaising with one another to provide concurrent services. Integrated treatment means the treatment occurs within a mental health or substance misuse service. This is seen as the model of excellence (DH, 2002b). However, this research will support the treatment in parallel services because of the lack of specialised training, little is known about what works and for whom, no standard instruments exists for describing social and health care systems.
POPULATION AND SAMPLING
The young People’s programme at NHS Scotland accepts joint working in the area of suicide prevention and alcohol. Some of the agencies to be sampled will include YouthLink and Young Scot (Health Scotland, 2010), Alcohol Focus who can deal specifically with young people, Action for Children Scotland, Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Services which provides 1:1 services for young people aged 12 to 18, both male and female. Despite confidentiality, the research location has been named as being conducted in a Scottish local government area in order to limit bias or weakness in the research design.
This research will interview three groups of people service providers, service users and carers to obtain a range of perspectives on the key issues. The policy context will be taken by reviewing the local governments written policy which establishes the local strategic and bureaucratic contexts with regards decision making. Providers from the statutory and independent sectors will give the research an operational perspective. The views of service users will be obtained which will include their expectations and experiences, which will hopefully provide valuable new insights making a unique contribution to the research. The same will apply to the carers.
DATA COLLECTION METHODS
The sample size will be 126 people maximum which are quite large to enable this research draw firm conclusions, reduce bias, maintain vigour, and will be representative of the local area which hopefully can be replicated in other areas of Scotland. The questions will reflect the above objectives to be tested in the focus group which has been outlined in Appendix one.
This research will give enough detail so anyone else can carry out the research from the information provided which will support its generalisation and reliability.
The main method of data collection was with questionnaires, face to face structured interviews, and focus groups. The focus groups consisted of service users and their carers – either relatives or residential carers. 16 of this can participate averaging two focus group sessions.
The interview (also appendix one) will include a public health physician, which will be an NHS representative responsible for contributing to health improvements in the locality. It will also include coordinators of drug and alcohol action team coordinator. The interview guide was designed to enable the interviewer cover a number of major topics in a systematic fashion, and accounts of service related policy and practice. This will allow for an insider account of the topic in question.
Eight focus group discussions will be carried out with service providers across the various teams’ statutory and voluntary, health and social services. Each group will be composed of between 8-10 people. So a maximum of 80 people can participate. The research will assemble a list of all services available in order to obtain a list of participants from diverse backgrounds having primary contact with patients from addiction services, mental health services, and residential services. These participants will be contacted through their managers, via phone calls, and then e-mails to confirm discussions, visits and then dates for the focus group meetings will be arranged. Focus group attendees will be drawn from:
- Mental health services
- Primary care services
- Voluntary sector
- Social services
- Addiction services
The discussion will be driven by a pre-determined topic guide based around practice and policy, assessment, treatment intervention, and wider organisational issues. Participants will be encouraged to have a genuine discussion, talking between themselves rather than addressing their remarks to the moderator.
Purposive sampling was used to select a particular cohort of participants to reflect a range of experience. About 30 service users will be selected aged between 12 and 18.
Research ethics refer to the moral principles guiding the research, from its beginning through to the beginning and publication of results. Although the Economic and Social Council (ERSC) does not require that ethical approval should be gained before submitting a research proposal, it should still state if this is required and why (ESRC, 2010). Appendix 2 sets out the format for an application for ethical approval for this research. It is then the responsibility of the researcher to decide if the research is ethically sensitive, requiring a light touch review or full review from a Research Ethics Committee (REC). Normally research proposals involving human participants should be reviewed and approved by the REC. This research not only involves human participants but evaluates sensitive details and discussions about people’s mental health. The university could then take the overall responsibility to ensure that the committee is set up to undertake the role of offering the review and approval. The composition of the REC must then have enough competency and expertise relevant to the research they are approving. The role of the REC will be to ensure the dignity, rights and welfare of research participants (ESRC, 2010). Monitoring of the REC also takes place to ensure the independence and quality of the decisions taken. The research organisation must also ensure that there are mechanisms for receiving and addressing complaints or addressing of concerns.
Ethical principles and reviews concern the rights, dignity and safety of research participants and research governance is the standards and mechanisms that permit the proper management and monitoring of research. This research complies with legal and policy requirements such as the data protection act 1998. Therefore, secured storage methods are important such as e-mails, computer files and data bases. Access to the research subjects has been negotiated as stated in appendix 2. As a practitioner in the field the researcher is familiar with and works with various organisations and agencies supporting vulnerable youths.
The research ethics framework also covers the importance of achieving informal consent. This is giving as much information about the research as possible to enable the participants to make an informed decision as to whether they wish to be involved. This should be provided in written form and signed off by the participants. The primary objective of this is to conduct research openly and without deception. This is among the six core principle that informs the ESRC research ethics framework. Appendix 3 lays out the pattern for the consent form and the information sheet this research will use to gain consent from participants. Consent will be sought verbally from the participants to ascertain whether the participants agree to take part in the research study or not, as recommended by NMC and GSCC, 2002). The need for research subjects to have a choice about whether or not they participate is a fundamental obligation in relation to respect for autonomy (Beauchamp and Childress, 1998). I informed the participants that they had a choice to refuse: that they can withdraw from the research study at any given stage, and that they can refuse or withdraw without any form of retribution or punishment. The research will therefore respect the confidentiality of the participants and will be anonymous as stated in the above legislation (the Data Protection Act, 1998).
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
It is the intention of the data to look for differences of the groups (t-test) or relationships (correlations). Silverman (1993) describes data analysis as a painstaking process requiring long hours of careful work going over notes, organising the data, looking for patterns against the data, checking emerging patterns against the data, cross validating sources and findings. There are a number of data analysis methods but the one which may best suit this research is content analysis. However, this is only qualitative with regards the development of categories where the focus group will look at what themes are developing or what people talk about the most (Weber, 1990). Then check how the themes relate to one another. One must state the size of data being analysed at any given time, and the units for the categories. The research will carry out a contents analysis as this is a systematic way of identifying all the main concepts which arises out of the interview, and then categorise and develop these in common themes. The interviews and focus groups would be fully transcribed to enable more efficient and consistent analysis. A dicta tape would be used for the transcription and the painstaking process of manually writing down the recording. This is because content analysis is already difficult to computerise making it time consuming. However, the important advantages are that it looks directly at communications in texts and transcripts enabling it to get to the central aspects of social interaction, thereby enabling its closeness to the text to alternate between specific categories and relationships, and statistically analyses the coded form of the text.
It is important to capture the perspective of the senior managers using the semi structured interviews, rather than allow researcher bias influence and shape the data gathered. The intention was to develop an account of the broad view of issues relating to policy and practice. The methodology also had the benefit of being consistent with that used in gathering data for the service providers and service users and carers.
Matrix analysis can also be used. This uses flow charts, diagrams and tables representing a pictorially as well as the written descriptions (Miles and Huberman, 1994). The results will be presented in a descriptive tabular form. The first three tables will look at lessons learnt from the focus groups for service users, carers and staff / managers, summarising the main points where pertinent issues were raised. The next set of tables will be service users’ / carers’ positive comments on the experiences of using services. This is evaluative, and will place in different columns good and not so good experiences. This second batch of tables will group a list of the health (addiction) and mental health (social services) agencies and rate each service according to the good and not so good experiences. Inferences can then be made from the results, and good practices shared among the different agencies. The next relevant table will evaluate experiences which were common (to service users, carers and service providers) and those which were not. The differences, advantages and disadvantages will then be analysed.
DISSEMINATION OF FINDINGS
The findings will be disseminated to the Scottish local authority linked with this research. For the wider social care and health professions the research will seek publication in one of the journals. The findings will also be disseminated to the local authority and PCT in the form of power point presentation at a conference level or meeting with managers and heads of services.
Appleby, L (2008) Lessons for Mental Health Care in Scotland, Manchester, Manchester University Press.
Beauchamp, T and Childress, J (1998) Principles of Biomedical ethics, 4th Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Crome, I (1999) The trouble with training: Substance misuse education in British medical schools revisited. What bare the issues? Drugs: Education, prevention and policy, 6, 111-123.
DH (2002a) National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England, London, DH.
DH (2002b) Mental Health Policy implementation Guide, Dual Diagnosis, Good Practice Guide, London, DH.
Dickinson, H and Glasby, J (2010) Why Partnership working does not work: Pitfalls, problems, and Possibilities in English Health and Social Care, Public Management Review 2010: 12 (6): 811 – 828 (November 2010).
Dowling, B., Powell, M. And Glending, C (2004) Conceptualising successful partnerships
Edgren, L (2008) The meaning of integrated care: A Systems Approach, International Journal of Integrated Care 2008 (8).
ESRC (2010) The research ethics framework, Swindon, Economic and Social Research Council.
General Social Care Council (2002) The Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers, London, GSCC.
Glasby, J., Dickinson, H., and Peck, E (2006) Effective Partnership Working: An International Symposium, Birmingham, Birmingham University Press.
Glasby, J and Littlechild, R (2000) The Health and Social Care Divide: The experience of Older People, Birmingham, PEPAR.
Health Scotland (2010) Towards a mentally flourishing Scotland,
Last accessed 12th April 2010
Kodner, D and Kyriacou, C (2000) Fully Integrated Care, Two American Models, International Journal of Integrated Care, 1, November
Miles, M and Huberman, A (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis, 2nd Edition, Newbury Park, California, Sage.
National Suicide Prevention Group (2010) Review of Choose life: A refreshed strategy for suicide prevention
NMC (2002) The Code of Professional Conduct, London, Nursing and Midwifery Council
Perkins and Smith (2010) What counts is what works? : New Labour and Partnerships in Public Health, Policy and Politics 2010; 38 (1): 101-117 (January 2010).
SAMH (2010) Wasted? A Conference on Alcohol and Mental Health, Scottish Association for Mental Health
Silverman (1993) Interpreting qualitative data: Methods for analysing talk text and interaction, London, Sage.
The Scottish Government (2004) The Scottish government 21st December Substance Misuse Research, Co-Morbid mental Health and Substance Misuse in Scotland,
Last updated 7th January 2011
Weber, R (1990) Basic Content Analysis, Newbury Park, California, Sage.
- Do your organisation work in partnership with other agencies?
- Do you have service level agreements in place with other agencies?
- If your services are working well with other agencies, how well is this taking place?
- Do they make a difference to the service?
- What differences do these make?
- Do they make a difference for service users?
- What differences to service users are made?
- Do they make a difference to carers?
- What difference to carers’s needs is made?
- How should partnerships be managed to achieve maximum benefits?
Ethical Approval Form (EAF1)
Research Ethics Committee
NAME OF APPLICANT……………………………………………………………………………
This form should be completed in typescript and returned to the Secretary of the Research Ethics Committee, for any research project, teaching procedure or routine investigation involving human participants or animals to be undertaken in the College or by or upon the College staff outside the College.
- Title of proposed project:
THE IMPACT OF PARTNERSHIP WORKING ON THE WELL BEING OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO MISUSE ALCOHOL IN SCOTLAND
- Brief outline of the project, including its purpose:
The purpose of the project will be to determine how partnership working may be able to positively support the well being of young people between the ages of 12 – 18 who abuse alcohol leading to suicidal mental health problems. The rationale for this topic is based on the high cost of alcohol abuse on the Scottish economy and the relatively high incidences of suicide and suicidal ideation as a result of alcohol abuse in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK.
The Project assumes that effective partnership working will deliver positive outcomes in reducing the number of young sufferers in the short term leading to a fall in the national statistics of those misusing alcohol. This will be researched using a qualitative methodology to highlight the main conceptual foundations and theory, and discuss face to face with relevant stakeholders such as young addiction sufferers, managers and staff of statutory and non statutory services and policy makers.
- Proposed starting date:
- If external grant funding is being secured, does the research need ethical
approval prior to the initiation of that funding?
- Has the project been approved by an Ethics Committee external to the College? If so please specify.
(NB for projects so approved, applicants may if they wish submit a copy of that application, but should sign the back of the form and return it as specified above)
- State the variables to be studied, topics to be investigated, procedures to be used and/or the measurements to be made. (Please attach a separate sheet if necessary)
The research design method will be qualitative
The discussion will mainly involve focus group and interview questions as data collection methods to analyse and evaluate the aims and objectives of the study:
- The connection between alcohol misuse and suicide.
- Each of the major service’s current policies and intervention on alcohol misuse and mental health as it effects young people
- Good practices of relevant services regarding support and management of young people who misuse alcohol leading to suicidal ideation
- Current partnership working already taking place
- Strategies which will encourage health and social services providers to work together.
It will use a content analysis format to analyse the data collected from the target population. Detailed findings will be extracted from these, and recommendations made.
Topics to be investigated will include partnership working, dual diagnosis of alcohol misuse and mental health problems, links between mental health and alcohol misuse, relevant services supporting those addicted, the services policies, procedures and modes of intervention.
- Specify the number of and type of participant(s) likely to be involved.
- Mental health services – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 10 participants
- Primary care services – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 10 participants
- Voluntary sector – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 20 participants
- Residential services – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 20 participants
- Social services – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 10 participants
- Addiction services – staff, frontline managers and senior managers – 10 participants
About 30 service users will be selected aged between 12 and 18.
About 16 carers will be selected
TOTALLING A MAXIMUM POTENTIAL NUMBER OF 126 PEOPLE
- State the likely duration of the project and where it will be undertaken.
- State the potential adverse consequences to the participant(s), or particular groups of people, if any, and what precautions are to be taken.
No adverse consequences are likely
- State any procedures which may cause discomfort, distress or harm to the participant(s), or particular groups of people, and the degree of discomfort or distress likely to be entailed.
None are likely
- State how the participant(s) will be recruited. (Please attach copies of any recruiting materials if used).
The research will assemble a list of all services available in order to obtain a list of participants from diverse backgrounds having primary contact with patients from addiction services, mental health services, and residential services. These participants will be contacted through their managers, via phone calls, and then e-mails to confirm discussions, visits and then dates for the focus group meetings will be arranged. Focus group attendees will be drawn from:
The discussion was driven by a pre-determined topic guide based around practice and policy, assessment, treatment intervention, and wider organisational issues. Participants will be encouraged to have a genuine discussion, talking between themselves rather than addressing their remarks to the moderator.
Purposive sampling was used to select a particular cohort of participants to reflect a range of experience.
- State if the participant(s) will be paid, and if so, provide details and state reasons for payment.
No payment will be made
- State the manner in which the participant(s) consent will be obtained (if written, please include a copy of the intended consent form).
13a. Will the participant(s) be fully informed about the nature of the project and of what they will be required to do?
13b. Is there any deception involved?
13c. Will the participant(s) be told they can withdraw from participation at any time, if they wish?
13d. Will data be treated confidentially regarding personal information, and what will the participant(s) be told about this?
The participants will be told that their names will not be revealed in any part of the research in line with NMC and GSCC standards.
13e. If the participant(s) are young persons under the age of 18 years or ‘vulnerable persons’ (e.g. with learning difficulties or with severe cognitive disability), how will consent be given (i.e. from the participant themselves or from a third party such as a parent or guardian) and how will assent to the research be asked for?
Assent to the research will be sought through the provider service enabling us to seek consent from the guardian or person holding the power of attorney.
- Will the data be confidential?
14a. Will the data be anonymous?
14b. How will the data remain confidential?
Names of participants and names of teams and services will not be revealed. The material will not be passed on to any other parties apart from the university for academic grading.
14c. How will the data be protected?
Since the data is mobile being in an electronic form, regarding lap tops and memory stick, these have security code which will not enable any other party to open the documents. When not used the electronic systems are kept in a locked environment. The same procedure is also used whenever the data is transferred to desk top.
- Will the research involve the investigation of illegal conduct? If yes, give details and say how you will be protected from harm or suspicion of illegal conduct?
- Is it possible that the research might disclose information regarding child sexual abuse or neglect? If yes, indicate how such information will be passed to the relevant authorities (e.g. social workers, police), but also indicate how participants will be informed about the handling of such information were disclosure of this kind to occur. A warning to this effect must be included in the consent form if such disclosure is likely to occur.
It might be possible that young people involved in the research may reveal past or current experiences. The safeguarding procedures will be used at all times. The alerting process will be adhered to where the manager, contact person or person in charge will be informed via e-mail or a signed and dated letter. If the alleged perpetrator is the manager, contact person or person in charge, then such a person’ line manager or authorising body will be informed. The victim will be clearly told on the consent form that all disclosures will be passed on to relevant parties should this be highlighted by the victim during the research sessions.
- State what kind of feedback, if any, will be offered to participants.
Verbal feedback will be made that the disclosure was passed on to the relevant personnel, and evidence of this being made will be kept by the researcher.
- State the expertise of the applicant for conducting the research proposed.
- In cases of research with young persons under the age of 18 years or ‘vulnerable persons’ (e.g. with learning difficulties or with severe cognitive disability), or with those in legal custody, will face-to-face interviews or observations or experiments be overseen by a third party (such as a teacher, care worker or prison officer)?
Any research sessions involving young persons under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a member of staff, guardian or carer.
- If data is collected from an institutional location (such as a school, prison, hospital), has agreement been obtained by the relevant authority (e.g. Head Teacher, Local Education Authority, Home Office)?
Agreement will be obtained from the authorising personnel of the NHS Trust or clinic where the data will be collected.
- For those conducting research with young persons under the age of 18 years or ‘vulnerable persons’ (e.g. with learning difficulties or with severe cognitive disability), do the investigators have Criminal Records Bureau clearance? (Ordinarily unsupervised research with minors would require such clearance. Please see College Code of Practice on Research Ethics, 2005).
- Will research place the investigators in situations of harm, injury or criminality?
- Will the research cause harm or damage to bystanders or the immediate environment?
- Are there any conflicts of interest regarding the investigation and dissemination of the research (e.g. with regard to compromising independence or objectivity due to financial gain)?
- Is the research likely to have any negative impact on the academic status or reputation of the College?
Please note that the Committee should be notified of any adverse or unforeseen circumstances arising out of this study.
Signature of Applicant Date
TO BE COMPLETED BY HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Please note that the College Research Ethics Committee should be notified of any adverse or unforeseen circumstances arising out of this study or of any emerging ethical concerns that the Head of Department may have about the research once it has commenced.
Has there been appropriate peer review and discussion of the ethical implications of the research in the department (i.e. with yourself as Head of Department or the Departmental Research Ethics Committee or Research Committee)?
Yes/No (Please circle)
Are the ethical implications of the proposed research adequately described in this application?
Yes/No (Please circle)
Signature of Head of Department Date
Research Project – Information Sheet
I am setting up a research project looking at young peoples aged 14-18 who are receiving services for alcohol misuse. It aims to explore the effects of this on their mental health. So the research will seek to find out how these people can be better supported through working in partnership with a number of relevant agencies such as social services, mental health and addiction services.
This letter is being given to young people who use the service, staff and managers who provide the service and policy makers. It is for you to decide whether you would like to or not. Should you choose not to be involved, nothing else will happen.
To help you decide if you would like to take part, here are the answers to some questions you might have:
- Who are you?
Q2. Why have you asked me?
You have been asked because you have been in contact with one or more of the agencies listed above. If you decide to take part, only the worker, you and I will know that you have been asked.
If you are unsure about taking part and would like to talk with someone before deciding you can talk to your key worker or social worker.
Q3. What would be involved?
I will interview you for about one hour. I will also ask you to complete two short questionnaires. The whole thing should take about two hours.
Q4. What sort of questions will I be asked?
I want to know your views and feelings about your alcohol intake, why you started drinking and what support you have received so far with your drinking habit.
Q5. Where will the interviews be held?
The discussions will be held in a venue you will be familiar with. I will check with you first as to what is most comfortable for you.
Q6. Who will know about what I have talked about?
Normally, everything you say will be confidential, and I will not tell your parents, social worker, or the workers what you have said, unless they are involved in the meeting which will be your choice as to their involvement. I might write some of the things you say, but your name, or your family’s, will not be used.
If during the interview you tell me anything which means you at risk or potentially at risk of harm I will first discuss my concerns with you and encourage you to report this to the relevant agencies. If I need to share any information abut things that I have serious concerns about with the project worker, or social services I will first seek to gain your permission to do so.
Q7. Will I have to answer every question?
You can choose not to reply to any question you wish, and can add other things you would like to say which I might not have asked about. I am interested in your views and feelings – there are no right or wrong answers.
Q8. Will you be recording the interview?
If you agree, I will record the interview. The tapes will be confidential and will not be shared with anyone. They will be kept in a locked cabinet in my office at all times when I am not using them. The tapes will be destroyed when the research is finished.
Q9. Can I withdraw if I change my mind?
You can choose to withdraw from the study at anytime. If you change your mind nothing else will happen.
Q10. Can I see what you have written?
If you would like a copy of the report, please give the address you would like it to be sent to.
Q11. What if I really want to take part but my parents say no?
If you are under the age of 16, I will need to seek permission from your parents for you to take part. However, if you express a wish to take part but your parents do not give their consent I will need to make sure you fully understand what you are consenting to. I will encourage you to inform your parents of what you are agreeing to, as I would not want there to be conflict between you and your parents.
If you think you would like to take part in my project, please fill in the slip that is attached and send it to me in the stamped addressed envelope. I will then arrange to meet you and tell you more about the project.
You do not need to do anything else if you do not want to take part in the project.
I confirm I have read and understand the information sheet for the above study. I have had the opportunity to consider the information, ask questions and have these answered satisfactorily.
- I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving any reason.
- I understand that information from my interview may possible be used in publications, but that any facts, and names which could identify me and my family will be changed in the written record of the interview and in the reporting of the findings.
- I agree to take part in this study.
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Name Date Signature