The information sheet below has been reviewed and approved by the University of Exeter Psychology Research Ethics Committee.
If you have further questions our contact details are at the bottom of the page.
TITLE: Assessing and Enhancing Emotional Competence for Well-Being (ECoWeB) in the Young: Version 0.9 Dated 10.09.2020
What is the ECOWEB study about?
This project seeks to increase insight into how emotions work and the skills of spotting, understanding, and managing emotions in young people. We are asking young people to take part in the study to find out what influences mood, how emotions change over time, and which emotional skills increase well-being.
What will I have to do?
We ask you to complete questions about emotions, emotional skills and well-being 4 times on our website. These questions will be asked at the start of the study and then at follow-ups after 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months. We also ask you to use a Smart-phone health app for at least several weeks to monitor your emotions in daily life. We will offer some people self-help strategies and workouts within the app to improve their Emotional Fitness and well-being. This is so we can learn what approaches best improve well-being in young people. Who gets which version of the app will be decided by chance.
What payment will I receive?
As a thank you and reward for completing each follow-up assessment and for using the app, you will be sent electronic shopping vouchers by email after you complete your 3 and 12 month follow up. The value will depend on your use of the app (up to £30) and completing the 1, 3 and 12 month online follow up assessments (each £10 reward).
Why take part and what are the possible advantages of taking part?
By taking part, you will play a major role in understanding emotion and improving well-being and mental health for young people. Taking part may help you learn about, understand and better manage your own emotions. It will also help us to improve well-being and mental health for other young people. The self-help strategies can reduce worry or boredom and increase self-confidence, optimism, motivation, and recognition and understanding of emotions. This project will test this via an app for the first time on a large scale.
Who can take part?
Young adults aged from 16-22 years old in the UK, Spain, Germany and Belgium. We will ask you to complete online questionnaires to see if the study is likely to be right for you. If you have depression or suicidal thoughts, or have ever had a diagnosis of, or treatment for depression, bipolar disorder (mania) or psychosis, you cannot take part. This is because the study and the app is focused on promoting well-being and preventing poor mental health rather than treating current problems. If you can’t take part, our automated pages can direct you to other sources of help and advice, and you can find more information on our mental health information page.
Allocation to the Self-help App
All eligible individuals within the study are selected at chance to either simply continue with the app to monitor emotions (1/3 chance) or are offered additional self-help and training elements within the app (2/3 chance). Of those offered additional self-help, half will receive strategies tailored personalised to them based on their assessment results. The other half will receive general strategies. By comparing these groups, we will find out which self-help best improves emotional skills, confidence and well-being over 12 months.
How do I access the App?
If the study is likely to be right for you, we will send you a link via email to access the MyMoodCoach app on your mobile phone (ioS compatible – iOS 9 or later, and Android compatible, version 8.0 or later). You will need to have access to the internet via mobile data or Wi-Fi for the app to work.
How long would I need to use the App for?
You can use the app for as often as you like during your year in the trial. We recommend using it most days for at least a month to get the most benefit.
Do I have to take part?
No, it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you agree to take part you will need to sign a consent form online. If you take part you are free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason.
In the UK the legal age of consent to take part in research is 16, so you do not need to gain parental consent.
Is my data confidential and private?
All information collected about you will normally be kept strictly confidential. The main exception is if in an email or a telephone call with us, you reported significant difficulties or risk of harm to yourself. In this case, we may contact your doctor (if you provide their contact details). We would only contact your trusted contact (providing you choose to give us a trusted contact) if we were very concerned and were unable to reach you after one working day.
Your information will be kept confidential and stored securely and password protected. Your contact details (name, email, telephone number) will be kept separately from all other data. Your responses on the website and the app will be only linked to a project identification number, not with your contact details, to keep your personal responses private.
The third party electronic shopping voucher provider will be given your name and email address only (but no other information) so they can send you access to the vouchers you have earnt. Your contact details will not be used by any party for sales or marketing purposes.
Who will have access to my data?
Only selected researchers within the ECoWeB consortium can access your contact details. This is so they can contact you about follow-ups or to respond to your questions or requests for help. Other project researchers will only have access to the information you enter into the Website and the app.
After the study ends it may be that academic journals and other research teams will ask for the data from the study to be made public (so they can carry out further research or check our findings). The data they use will be anonymous and not include your name or any of your contact details.
How long will my data be held?
Research into Mood and Voice
We hope to develop new ways to detect emotions from the voice to help young people get aid quickly when needed. Anyone in the study can take part in voice research. The choice to take part is in the Emotion Diary in the app. In the Emotion Diary you are asked to describe any emotional events from that day. You can type this event into the app, or you can talk to the app to create a voice record.
If you record your voice, it will be automatically analysed on the app for sound qualities like pitch and tone. To ensure confidentiality, each recording will be broken up into tiny bits and then put together again in a random order on the app. This means that the tone of your voice can be heard but no-one can hear what you said. This is to protect your identity. The files will then be labelled with your study identity number, encrypted and sent to a secure server for further analysis by our specialist researchers. If you use the voice recording, you will be able to get feedback on how your voice might sound to others.
There is no passive monitoring on the app so you would have to actively choose to record by clicking the record button.
Do I have to have my voice recorded?
No, this feature is completely optional and voluntary. You will only be given the choice to record your voice when describing an emotional event.
What if I want to withdraw from the study or delete my data?
You can withdraw from using the app or taking part in the trial at any time without giving us a reason. If you are willing to let us still use your data then that is really useful. You can request to have your data deleted at any time before the end September 2022 when we will delete all contact details from the data set.
What are the possible disadvantages of taking part?
Taking part involves giving of your time to complete the questionnaires and use the app. Because some of the questions in the assessment and the app ask about past and present emotions, there is a small chance that this may produce mild and brief upset if you are reminded of an unpleasant event. However, this would be no more than usually experienced in daily life. We are not aware of any other side effects, disadvantages or risks of using the app.
What help is provided?
The ECoWeB study only offers self-monitoring and self-help. It does not provide therapy. The app is not directly monitored nor supported by clinicians or therapists. If you report increased distress or thoughts of harming yourself on our website, we will give you automated advice and point you to sources of help. You can also contact us for further advice at any time and we will (wherever possible) respond within 2 working days. Your GP (family doctor) remains responsible for your medical care. It is your responsibility to contact them for further help.
What will happen to the results?
We will analyse the information received from all those taking part together at the end of the study. We aim to publish the work in academic journals. Your identity will not be revealed in any report or publication. We will publish a summary of the findings on our website. We will also send this report to all participants who request it.
Who has reviewed the study?
This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the research ethic committees of the participating Universities. In the UK approval has been given by the Psychology Research Ethics Committee and the contact for this committee is Dr Nick Moberly whom you can email at email@example.com, telephone 01392 724656.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any questions about taking part in the trial, please contact Lexy Newbold: telephone 07890 384247, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to complain about any aspect of the research team’s work you can complain to the Study Principal Investigator, Professor Edward Watkins, from the University of Exeter, UK.
You can also see our contact us page for details of our team and how to reach us.