PARTICIPANT INVITATION LETTER

You are being invited to participate in a research study. Before you agree it is important that you understand what your participation would involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully.

Who am I?

I am a postgraduate student in the School of Psychology at the University of East London. As part of my studies I am researching factors that may predict the development of anorexia.  I am also a carer for a 15 year old boy with anorexia, diagnosed and hospitalised for seven months aged 13.

What is the research?

The average age of anorexia diagnosis is 16 – 17, although children in the UK are commonly diagnosed at a younger age.  I am conducting research into whether anorexia could successfully be predicted in pre-adolescent children and therefore treated much earlier, ideally preventing hospitalisation.

My research has been approved by the School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee. This means that my research follows the standard of research ethics set by the British Psychological Society.

Why have you been asked to participate?

I am looking to involve parents and carers of young people who have been diagnosed with anorexia living in the UK.  I am seeking parents’ views on what they consider may have been a factor in their child developing anorexia.   I am not looking for ‘experts’, you will not be judged or personally analysed in any way and your information will be treated with respect.

You are free to decide whether or not to participate and should not feel coerced.

What will your participation involve?

If you agree to participate you will be asked to fill in a number of questionnaires regarding your child’s medical and psychological history, this will require thinking back over a number of years.   There are a number of questionnaires, including some demographic and family history information,  developmental and psychological history of your child.  Participation would be around 20 minutes.  Participation can happen at home or anywhere at any time on a mobile device.

I will not be able to pay you for participating in my research but your participation would be very valuable in helping to develop knowledge and understanding of the development of the illness, which I believe is of great importance to most parents of anorexic children.

This study is safe and confidential.  Your privacy and safety will be respected at all times.  Participants cannot be identified by the data collected, on any written material resulting from the data collected, or in any write-up of the research.  Participants can stop their participation at any time and opportunities to seek support after the study will be detailed in the debrief letter.

What will happen to the information that you provide?

The material that you provide will be stored on the Qualtrics server until the end of the project (August 2019).  No personal details will be requested at any point during the research and therefore will not be on this database.  Participant identity will be protected using a code which the participant will choose and provide.  My supervisor, examiners and myself will be able to see the anonymised data.

What if you want to withdraw?

You are free to withdraw from the research study at any time without explanation, disadvantage or consequence before the 15th August 2019 after which analysis of the data will start.

Contact Details

If you would like further information about my research or have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Hilary Trevelyan u1527269@uel.ac.uk

If you have any questions or concerns about how the research has been conducted please contact the research supervisor Dr Miha Constantinescu, School of Psychology, University of East London, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ,

Email: m.constantinescu@uel.ac.uk

or

Chair of the School of Psychology Research Ethics Sub-committee: Dr Tim Lomas, School of Psychology, University of East London, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ.

(Email: t.lomas@uel.ac.uk)