Request for forum users to take part in a research study

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ellen 8 years, 5 months ago.

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    Hello everyone, I have been asked by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University to post this research study with a request for participants. :-

    ‘Effects of expressing views, opinions and emotions in internet forums on wellbeing’

    Please could you take part in a study exploring how expressing views, opinions and emotions in forums can affect wellbeing? This study is being conducted by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University. The purpose of this study is to explore how expressing views, opinions and emotions and other factors influence changes in wellbeing, with the expectation that forum use leads to heightened wellbeing.

    This study will take very little of your time and you can continue to use the forum as you would in any case. You would be asked to complete a short survey at the start of the study, which you can begin at any time, and another 1 month later. The initial survey is estimated to take around 20 minutes to complete. To explore how different expressions affect wellbeing, your posts during this time would also be analysed anonymously to identify opinions expressed and emotional words, how often they appear and how positive or negative they are, but you are not obligated to post anything and you can use the site as if you were not involved in a study, and you can also withdraw at any time. The results of the study will be written up as a journal article with the intention of publication in a relevant journal.

    Remember that none of the information you provide will be connected back to you. All survey responses are kept confidential. Your name is never stored with the data or with any other information you provide. The information in the study records will be kept confidential. No one will see your responses except for the researchers.

    To participate, please click on the link below to be directed to a secure online questionnaire site.

    Click [url=]here[/url] to take Questionnaire 1

    If you have any questions about participating in this study, please contact the researchers below.

    Thanks for your willingness to participate!

    Brett Pagdin
    Sheffield Hallam University

    Katie Cutts
    Sheffield Hallam University



    Dear Ellen
    You do not say, nor does the questionnaire, which department at Sheffield Uni is conducting this research. Nor does the explanation clearly state what the research will be ultimately used for.
    Could the researchers clarify this?



    Thank you Helen

    You make a very appropriate point. I contacted Brett and asked him the question and this was his reply. I hope this helps clarify things.

    The department is the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam University. The research is part of a masters in Health Psychology, therefore its purpose is to gain an educational qualification. As such it was conceived by and is led by me as a student of the course, but supervised by Katie Cutts, one of the tutors on the Health Psychology course and part of the Faculty. The University Ethics Committee approved the research in October. It will be written up as a journal article in order to gain an educational qualification, and it is anticipated that it will be submitted for publication in a relevant journal (the most appropriate journal has not been selected yet but it will be related to Health Psychology).

    There are lots of discussion forums and health forums available now with ever increasing evidence to demonstrate how they can improve wellbeing, which you would expect from being able to engage with people who you can relate to, gain support from, and likewise support. I am very much interested in the community spirit which can develop through online forums in general, which I think is very important in today’s society. Health forums are not always suggested to patients though, as such evidence is not well known.

    I hope that gives some useful insights, perhaps more than was asked for, but I do appreciate the responses that have come through from your forum particularly when many other things are going on for forum users. So I hope it will be reassuring to give more of an explanation of how useful the participation in the study will be, not just for an education qualification.

    Please let me know if there are any further queries.

    Many thanks,


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