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AWARE NI are expanding their self-help supports to include a new online support group service. As part of the development of this service, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) will be working with AWARE NI to complete an evaluation of the new groups.
We would like to invite you to take part in this evaluation by joining one of the new online support groups. The online support groups will run for 8 weeks and will include 8-10 members. Online groups will take place through Skype.
If you decide you would like to take part, you will be required to register your interest through the AWARE NI website (a link is given at the end of this information sheet).
We will ask you to provide some information including your name, email address, date of birth, sex, postcode and information on any services that you are currently receiving or have accessed within the last year.
We will also ask you some questions relating to your mental wellbeing. These questions should take approximately 10 minutes in total to complete.
After you have registered, you will receive an email acknowledgement of your registration. A member of staff from AWARE NI will then contact you in due course about joining the group.
We might not be able to offer you a place in an online support group straight away. A waiting list will be put in place for this service.
Everyone who registers for the service will be offered a place at an online support group within 6 months.
Research staff from QUB will link in with some of the online groups as observers to help understand how the groups are working. You will be made aware if a member of staff from QUB is observing your group.
Some users will also be asked to complete an interview lasting around 30 minutes with QUB staff at the end of the 8 week intervention to gather your views on the service and on taking part in the evaluation.
We will ask you to complete questionnaires at the end of the eight week group and again at 6 months. We would also ask those on the waiting list to complete these questionnaires at the same time as this will allow us to compare responses and see how well the service is working.
The information that you share when you register and from the questionnaires that you complete will only be seen by AWARE NI and by members of the research team at QUB. Information that is shared with QUB from online registration and questionnaires will be made anonymous using unique participant identification numbers. Any audio recordings, notes and transcriptions will be anonymised and held securely at QUB in accordance with the QUB data protection policy. This information will not be shared with any outside organisations.
Information from interviews and questionnaires will be used by QUB to evaluate the service. This information may be used in publications for example journal articles. Any information or quotations used in publications or presentations will be strictly anonymised.
As with all AWARE NI support groups, group members will be required to strictly respect the privacy of all other members and not to disclose personal information discussed at the groups. Researchers from QUB who observe groups and complete interviews will also strictly observe confidentiality and will fully comply with the QUB Data Protection Policy. Any information given that is used in publications will be made anonymous. Information exchanged will be stored on a secure encrypted server.
The project is funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Office. The evaluation is being led by Dr Paul Best at QUB in collaboration with AWARE NI.
If you would like any further information, please contact:
Please take some time to consider whether you would like to take part in this evaluation. You might wish to discuss this with friends or family members. If you decide that you would like to take part in the evaluation, we would ask you to provide consent to participate on the registration page.
Title: Evaluation of a new online peer support group for adults with depression
Name of Researcher: Dr Paul Best
By clicking on the link below you are registering your interest in an online self-help support group and consenting to be involved in the evaluation of these groups.