Information Sheet

Study Title: Understanding the role of mobile applications (Apps) in reducing alcohol consumption.

You have been invited to take part in a study exploring the acceptability of apps in monitoring or reducing alcohol consumption. We are interested to find out your opinion on how you felt using an app to manage your alcohol consumption, the amount of effort you felt it required and the benefits from using it. We would also like to know how effective you found the app. We are interested in finding out any information about your experience of using an app, whether this was a positive or negative experience for you. The information you share will help to improve apps for individuals who wish to monitor or reduce their alcohol consumption. Before you decide to take part, you need to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve for you, so please read the following information before deciding to take part. If any of the information is not clear, please contact the researcher using the contact details provided. You may take as much time as you need to decide whether you wish to take part, however the last opportunity to participate will be 1st July 2020 when the data will be analysed.

What is the purpose of the study?

This study forms part of a PhD by Laura Drummond on the development of an evidence based mobile app to reduce alcohol consumption. The purpose of this study is to collect experiences of individuals who have tried apps to monitor or reduce their alcohol consumption. Research has shown there are a number of apps available on the marketplaces, however, very few have been evaluated for effectiveness or collected information on the experiences of users. This is an important area to research as many people currently consume alcohol above recommended limits and may wish to reduce or monitor their consumption. So, it is vital that these individuals are receiving effective support if they seek it. Apps offer a discreet and convenient solution for individuals that wish to reduce their alcohol consumption that build upon more traditional self-help approaches. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the experience of app users which will help us develop an evidence based mobile application. 

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited to take part in the study because you expressed an interest in one of our advertisments. We are interested in hearing from people that have used apps to monitor or reduce their alcohol consumption. This could be any app that you have used to reduce your alcohol consumption and may not have been dedicated to alcohol. For example, you may have used Myfitnesspal to record alcohol consumption. Alternatively, you may have used an app dedicated to reducing your alcohol consumption such as Drink Less, Drinkaware, DryJanuary or others. We are interested in your experience with any app that you have used to monitor or reduce your alcohol consumption.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether you wish to take part and please feel free to discuss your participation with others. If you do decide to take part, you will be asked to confirm that you consent to take part and to show that you understand what is expected and are happy to participate. Submitting your completed survey confirms that you have consented to taking part and are happy for the data provided to be used in this research.

What will happen to me if I take part?

Once you have given your consent to take part, you will be taken to an online survey. The survey will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete and once you have finished your part in the study is done. You will be given the option following the survey to state whether you would mind the researcher contacting you at a later date to discuss taking part in future research. You can change your mind about future correspondence with the researcher at any time. 

Expenses and payments

You will not receive any expenses or payments for taking part in the study. 

What will I have to do?

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning the app you used to reduce your alcohol consumption and your experience of using it. You can take as long as you need to decide whether to take part, although please note that data analysis will begin on 1st July 2020 and it may not be possible to include your survey response after that date. If you decide to take part you will need to complete the online consent form that follows this information sheet, before answering the questions. 

What are the possible risks and disadvantages of taking part?

The research is exploring your experience of using an app to monitor or reduce your drinking, so you may find yourself reflecting on your alcohol consumption throughout. Remember, you can stop at any time without providing a reason. If you do feel concerned about your drinking, there is support available through your GP or drinkaware.co.uk. 

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We cannot promise that the outcome of the research will help you personally. However, we hope that the information gathered will help to develop an understanding of the role of mobile apps in reducing alcohol consumption. This information will help us develop an evidence-based app to help individuals reduce their alcohol consumption.

What if there is a problem?

If you have questions about the survey itself, please contact the main researcher Laura Drummond. If at any time during or after your participation in our study you have concerns or any complaints, then you may contact the supervisory team:  Prof Bev John (bev.john@southwales.ac.uk) or Prof Gareth Roderique-Davies (gareth.rdavies@southwales.ac.uk) 

If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally you can do this through the University of South Wales’ Research Governance Office Mr Jonathan Sinfield who can be contacted on 01443 484518 or emailing jonathan.sinfield@southwales.ac.uk.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

All the information that you provide will be anonymous. We will ensure that if you provide any identifiable data that this is redacted so that you are in no way identifiable in the research. The data will be held in accordance with data protection laws and will be kept on password protected computers that only the researcher and supervisory team can access. The data will be analysed by the researcher and supervisory team. If any data is required for future studies beyond the one described here, approval will be sought from the appropriate ethics panel at the University of South Wales. 

What will happen if I don’t carry on with the study?

If you change your mind about taking part in the study, please exit this survey website link. If you do decide to withdraw from the survey before finishing, all information and data provided will be removed by the researcher. You have the right to withdraw your data from the research at any point by leaving the web page but once you submit the questionnaire online you will be unable to withdraw your responses. You will be asked at the end of the survey to confirm that you are happy to submit. 

What will happen to the results?

The results will be written up in to a report that will be included as part of a PhD thesis, which focuses on developing an evidence-based app to reduce alcohol consumption. The results will be used to develop an app to support those who wish to monitor or reduce their alcohol consumption. The findings may be published in an academic journals and presented in academic conferences. 

Who is organising or sponsoring the research?

The University of South Wales is sponsoring the research.

Contact details

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this information sheet, the research team are very grateful for your interest. Please take your time to decide whether you wish to take part in this research. If you have any questions, please contact the researcher or supervisory team using the details below. 

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the researcher: 

Laura Drummond – Laura.drummond@southwales.ac.uk

If you have any other questions about this research, please contact the research supervisors:

Prof Gareth Roderique-Davies – gareth.rdavies@southwales.ac.uk

Prof Bev John – bev.john@southwales.ac.uk

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the study, please contact the University of South Wales Research Governance Officer:

Jonathan Sinfield,

Research Governance Officer,

Research and Innovation Services (RISe)/ Gwasanaethau Ymchwil ac Arloesedd,

Research and Business Development Office/ Swyddfa Datblygu Busnes ac Ymchwil,

University of South Wales/Prifysgol De Cymru.

Tel: (01443) 484518