Please read this consent agreement carefully before you decide to participate in the study.
Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate a supportive, informative, and practical six-week program focused on identifying psychosocial stressors and fostering well-being for healthcare workers. Dr. James Forrest Calland and Ms. Dallas Ducar will implement this program. This program will focus on learning ways of responding positively to everyday stressors including practicing stress management and relaxation tools. The exercises that will be practiced throughout this program will be examined to see whether they affect self-perceived stress, quality of life, and wellbeing.
It is also a goal of this program to understand the differences in stress and wellbeing between healthcare worker populations. Information on stress and wellbeing will help to understand the psychological impacts of care on healthcare workers like yourself.
What you will do in the study: In this study, you will first be informed about the study and process and allowed to ask questions and then will be asked to sign an electronic consent form. You will get a signed copy of this form. You will then complete questionnaires about your level of stress, quality of life, burnout, risk factors for psychological distress (for example, alcohol use), possibility of depression, level of resilience, and concentration/mindfulness. If you are identified as experiencing job-related stress, you will be asked if you would like to join an educational and experiential group and be oriented to the project and the program. Your initial referral data will be included in the final analysis of this research whether you join the intervention groups or not. This data will help to ascertain what characteristics and traits were correlated with populations choosing not to join intervention groups. Whether or not you join a group, you will receive questionnaires asking about your level of stress, quality of life, burnout, risk factors for psychological distress (for example, alcohol use), possibility of depression, level of resilience, and concentration/mindfulness and actions taken at that time to improve psychosocial health. You may choose to withdraw your data at anytime and it will not be used for research.
If you do join a group you will participate in six sessions, which will consist of meeting for one hour and thirty minutes once a week for six weeks. The format for each of these six sessions will include:
Both formal and informal practices will be covered, including:
Formal Practices: Word associations, identifying healthy behaviors, managing stress, emotional wellbeing, emotional needs, meditation, yoga, and story sharing.
Review of informal practices: Using day-to-day life activities as practice for building stress-reduction skills.
You may skip any question that makes you uncomfortable and can stop the program at any time, without any penalty. Attendance at each session will be recorded, but this will be recorded by an assigned number and not a name. There will be no video or audio-taping or photography involved. You will be asked to complete the assessments at the initial visit, at the end of session six, and at three and six months after the end of the program.
Time Required: The study will require about ten hours of your time, including participation in the interview with Ms. Camden-McCusty, six one and a half hour sessions and completing follow-up assessments.
Risks: It is possible that you may feel uncomfortable doing the resiliency and wellness exercises that are part of the program. We will minimize any possible risk by having trained professionals conducting the research and the program, and monitoring progress. Also, if you do feel uncomfortable, you can leave the program at any time without penalty. A loss of confidentiality may have the potential to cause embarrassment to you due to levels of stress or burnout measures included in the materials. In order to reduce these potential risks, we will maintain and secure these measures in a locked site and identify the materials by code only.
Benefits: Potential benefits of participation are reduced stress levels and increases in quality of life, but these are not guaranteed. We also hope the classes will give you tools to help reduce and manage your stress. The study may help us understand the role and impact of this program on your stress. The study may also help us understand the amount of stress facing healthcare workers, specifically those here at the University of Virginia. These benefits are not guaranteed however.
The information that you give in the study will be handled confidentially. Your name will not be asked on any of the surveys.
Because of the nature of focus groups, I cannot guarantee your data will be confidential and it may be possible that others will know what you have reported. Nothing of a personal nature shared by any of the additional participants, that you see or hear, may be repeated outside of the class.
Each session you attend will be preceded by a verbal contract wherein you will be asked to affirm your previous agreement to maintain strict confidentiality. During this process you will be informed that if you do break confidentiality, you will be individually counseled and given one opportunity to remain in the group if the breech is minor and all additional group participants agree to allow you to continue with the group. If the source of this breech cannot be discerned, the group will have a collective discussion on whether to proceed. If the you break confidentiality a second time, or if the single breech was deemed major by the group, you will be asked to leave.
By signing this contract, you agree to the aforementioned stipulations regarding confidentiality.
Voluntary participation: Your participation in the study is completely voluntary.
Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.
How to withdraw from the study: If you want to withdraw from the study, please let Dr. James Forrest Calland, Ms. Dallas Ducar, know and you may discontinue the study or the program. You may continue to be enrolled in the program and decide to not complete the assessment forms or you may withdraw from the entire program and not return. There is no penalty for withdrawing. If you would like to withdraw after your materials have been submitted, please contact any of the researchers listed below:
Dr. James Forrest Calland: [email protected]
Dallas M. Ducar: [email protected]
Dr. J. Kim Penberthy: [email protected]
Joyce Camden-McCusty: [email protected]
Payment: You will receive no payment for participating in the study.
If you have questions about the study, contact:
Dr. James Forrest Calland
UVA Surgical Care
University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA 22903
PO Box 800709
Telephone: (434) 982-4278
Dallas M. Ducar
The Compassionate Care Initiative
University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Telephone: 434-260- 3363
If you have questions about your rights in the study, contact:
Tonya R. Moon, Ph.D.
Chair, Institutional Review Board for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
One Morton Dr Suite 500
University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800392
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0392
Telephone: (434) 924-5999
Email: [email protected]