My Mindful Days is dedicated to the study of how acceptance, commitment, mindfulness meditation and related mindfulness-based traditions impact the experience of anxiety, quality of life, and various other psychological and psychosocial outcomes. Our projects are conducted in the Department of Psychology, University at Albany, SUNY in upstate New York.
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Last Updated 01/24/2014
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Informed Consent Information
for Participation in a Research Study
Study Title: Anxiety in Daily Life
Study Principal Investigator Name: Christopher Berghoff
Study Principal Investigator Phone #: 518-591-8505
Study Principal Investigator Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are being asked to participate in a research study conducted at the University at Albany, Department of Psychology. Please review the following information before deciding to participate.
Why is this study being done?
Our goal is to identify how common therapy strategies impact daily anxiety and general quality of life. We hope to gain an understanding of the processes involved in these strategies, as well as determine if short interventions can be helpful for others like you.
What are the study procedures? What will I be asked to do?
This study has 4 parts. 1) You will complete a brief questionnaire to see if you qualify to participate and, if you do, you will make an appointment for an experimental session. 2) Attend the experimental session at the uptown UAlbany campus, where you will create an account for the website, complete a survey, participate in a short writing exercise, and learn a 10 minute mindfulness meditation. 3) We ask that you practice the meditation exercise and respond to a brief survey each day (between 5pm and 12:30am each day) for 14 days, all completed from your personal computer, phone, or tablet. 4) You will complete a larger survey on the following day (between 10am and 12:30am that night) from your computer.
How long will it take?
Completion of all parts of the study, including meditating once each day, will require approximately 6 – 6.5 hours over the course of 16 days. The qualifying survey will take about 5 minutes. The experimental session is 1 hour and each daily survey takes 5–10 minutes. The final survey will take about 30 minutes.
What are the risks or inconveniences of the study?
There are no known risks associated with participation in this study. However, you may experience mild discomfort as you think about and answer some of the questions in the survey, practice the meditation, or complete the written exercise. In addition, Internet and e-mail communications are never entirely secure forms of communication, so there is a small possibility of a confidentiality breech. However, our website is secured and fully encrypted, just as if you were visiting your favorite online retailer or bank.
If you do experience negative effects during or after your participation in the study, we encourage you to contact a mental health professional. The University at Albany provides counseling services for students at the University Counseling Center.
University Counseling Center
Suite 104, 400 Patroon Creek Blvd
Albany, NY 12206
What are the benefits of the study?
Evidence suggests that the techniques you will learn help people live more balanced and fulfilling lives. However we don’t know what might be good for you as an individual. We also hope to provide evidence for the effectiveness of brief interventions that may help others like you.
Will I receive payment for participation? Are there costs to participate?
There is no cost to you to participate in this study. You can earn up to 4 Psychology participant pool credits, $20 dollars, and 20 entries to a raffle for 1 of 3 $200 Amazon.com gift cards. You will earn 1 participant pool credit, 3 raffle entries, and $10 cash for completing the experimental session. You will earn .5 participant pool credit, 3 raffle entries, and $10 cash for on time completion of the final survey. You will earn 1 raffle entry for each daily survey completed on time and .5 participant pool credits for every 3 daily surveys completed on time. Finally, if you complete all study procedures on time, you will be awarded a .5 participant pool bonus credit. If you decide to withdraw from the study, you will retain all raffle entries, participant pool credit, and cash payments you have earned up to that point.
How will my personal information be protected?
Our website is secured and encrypted. Your personal information is stored in password-protected databases separately from your survey data, and all data files are encrypted when in transit or storage. Additionally, all personally identifiable information will be deleted upon the end of data collection. Records are available only to research staff and will be deleted within 6 years from the completion of the project. We may publish what we learn from this study, but will not include any identifying information.
All information obtained in this study is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required by law. In addition, the Institutional Review Board, the sponsor of the study (e.g. NIH, FDA, etc.) and University or government officials responsible for monitoring this study may inspect these records.
Can I stop being in the study and what are my rights?
You should also know that participation in research is entirely voluntary. Even after you agree to participate in the research, you may decide to leave the study at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you may otherwise have been entitled. You should also be aware that the investigator may withdraw you from participation at his/her professional discretion.
Whom do I contact if I have questions about the study?
Take as long as you like before you make a decision. We will be happy to answer any question you have about this study. If you have further questions about this project or if you have a research-related problem, you may contact the principal investigator, Christopher Berghoff, M.A. at 518-591-8505, email: email@example.com, or the Co-principal investigator and faculty advisor, John Forsyth, Ph. D., at 518-442-4862, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whom do I contact if I have questions about my rights as a study participant?
Research at the University Albany involving human participants is carried out under the oversight of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This research has been reviewed and approved by the IRB. If you have any questions concerning your rights as a research subject or if you wish to report any concerns about the study, you may contact University at Albany Office of Regulatory & Research Compliance at 1-866-857-5459 or email@example.com.
You can access and print this document at any time by visiting www.mymindfuldays.com.
download a copy of the Anxiety in Daily Life Informed Consent document here
Information to Consider Before Taking Part in this Research Study
IRB Study # 13041-01
You are being asked to take part in a research study being conducted at the University at Albany. Please read this information carefully and take your time deciding if you want to participate.
We are asking you to take part in a research study called:
Mindful Practices in Daily Life
The person who is in charge of this research study is Christopher R. Berghoff, M.A. This person is called the Principal Investigator. However, other research staff may be involved and can act on behalf of the person in charge.
Should You Take Part in this Study?
Before you decide, read this form and find out what the study is about. If you have questions, ask the researcher for clarification.
If you choose to take part in this study, you will need to indicate your willingness to participate on the study website (http://www.mymindfuldays.com). If you do not want to take part in this study, you should indicate that you do not wish to participate and notify the experimenter running your training day.
Why is This Research Being Done?
Our goal is to identify the effects of engaging in daily mindful practices. Research suggests practicing mindfulness may lead several personal benefits. We hope to use technology to allow participants to provide a daily report of their experience, helping us to understand how this process works.
What am I Being Asked to Do?
User Account, Consent to Participate, Initial Survey, and Training
- You will need to create your own user account / password on the study website and agree to participate after reading the online consent form (this document). You will then complete a survey that asks about various aspects of your life. You will next learn a mindful exercise that teaches you to focus on your breath while accepting any thoughts, feelings, or sensations that arise in your awareness. This portion of the study will take you approximately 1-1.5 hours.
Daily and Follow-Up Survey
- We ask that you practice the exercise as often as you like, and at least once per day, during the next 14 days. You will receive a daily electronic reminder at 6 p.m. that will link you to a brief daily survey. These surveys must be completed by 11 p.m. each day, and are important to complete even if you were unable to practice the exercise that day. You will receive a final message on the 15th day that will contain a link to the follow-up survey, which will be very similar to the initial survey. It is anticipated that this survey will take approximately .5-1 hour of your time.
Summary of Time Commitment
Over the course of the study you will be asked to (a) practice the brief mindful exercise each day, (b) complete the brief survey each day, and (c) complete the Initial and Follow-Up Assessments on time.
Where will the Research be Done?
You will complete the Initial assessment and learn the mindful exercise at the University at Albany campus on your Learning Day. Following this stage, the study will occur entirely online through the study website. Communication with staff will occur via email and phone, as needed. Staff are not authorized to provide therapy or therapeutic advice, but may answer questions and assist locating other resources.
How Many Other Participants Will Take Part?
Up to 200 members of the University at Albany community will take part in this study.
We cannot promise you will benefit by participating in this study. Evidence suggests that the techniques you will learn help people live more balanced and fulfilling lives. However, everyone is unique, and we don’t know exactly what might be good for you. This is the first study of its kind exploring the day-to-day effects of practicing mindful-based techniques.
Risks or Discomfort
There are no known risks associated with participation in this study. However, you may experience mild discomfort as you think about and answer some of the questions in the surveys or as you practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Finally, Internet and email are not entirely secure forms of communication, and thus there is a small possibility of a confidentiality breach. If you do experience negative effects during or after your participation in the study, we encourage you to contact a mental health professional. The University at Albany provides counseling services for students at the University Counseling Center.
University Counseling Center
400 Patroon Creek Blvd
Albany, NY 12206
Participant Pool Credit (if elected to receive)
- You have the opportunity to earn 5 participant pool credits for your participation in this study. You will receive 1.5 credits for your time on the training day, 1 credit for on-time completion of the Follow-Up survey, .5 credits for every 3 daily surveys completed on-time (2 credits total), and .5 bonus credit if you complete all study surveys on time. Credit will be applied at the first occurring event from the following list: when you (a) have completed the study, (b) withdraw from the study on the website, or (c) at the end of the 15-day time period that makes up your participation time.
Raffle Drawing (all participants)
- All participants will earn entries in a raffle drawing (1st prize: $150.00; 2nd prize: $100.00; 3rd prize: $50.00) to be held upon the completion of the data collection. You will earn 3 entries for on-time completion of the Initial and Follow-Up Surveys and 1 entry for each daily assessment completed on time (20 total). Winners will be notified by email. One prize per participant only.
Privacy and Confidentiality
We will keep your study records private and confidential, locked in Dr. Forsyth’s laboratory at the University at Albany, SUNY or online in secure, password protected databases. Records are available only to research staff and regulating agencies, such as the Office of Research Compliance at SUNY. We may publish what we learn from this study, but will not include your name or any other identifying information. We will destroy paperwork and electronic databases with your identifying information at the end of the study, or approximately 4 months from now.
This project has been approved by the University at Albany Institutional Review Board (IRB). Approval of this project only signifies that the procedures adequately protect the rights and welfare of the participants. Please note that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed due to the limited protections of Internet access. Please be sure to close your browser and log out of your personal account when finished so that no one will be able to view your responses or your online work.
Voluntary Participation / Withdrawal
Your participation in this study is voluntary and there is no pressure to take part. You can withdraw at any time by accessing Account Settings in your study dashboard, without penalty or loss of benefits you are entitled to. The Researcher may use data collected even if you withdraw, for any reason. We provide information regarding other mindful-based services on the study website as alternatives to participating.
New information about the study
We may find information that, once learned, might cause you to change your mind about being in the study. We will notify you as soon as possible if such information becomes available.
You can get the answers to your questions, concerns, or complaints
If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or experience an adverse event or unanticipated problem, you may call or email the Principal Investigator (PI) for this study, Christopher R. Berghoff, M.A., at 518-591-8505, email.You may also the contact the Co-PI and faculty advisor, John P. Forsyth, Ph.D., at 518-442-4862, email, or other members of the study staff at any time at 518-591-8505 or email.
IRB contact about your rights in the study or to report a complaint: Research at the University at Albany involving human participants is carried out under the oversight of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This research has been reviewed and approved by the IRB. If you have any questions concerning your rights as a research subject or if you wish to report any concerns about the study, you may contact University at Albany Office of Regulatory & Research Compliance at 1-866-857-5459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please print a copy of this document, so that you have on hand the contact information for the investigators and the Office of Research Compliance. You will also be able to access this form at any point by visiting the study website, http://www.mymindfuldays.com.