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Invitation to Participate in Research

Study Title: Study of the effects of interventions on exercise adherence

Aims of the Research

The aim of this research is to assess different interventions that might help exercisers adhere to exercise programmes. 'Adherence' means managing to exercise regularly; there may be occasions when someone can't make a planned exercise session, but most weeks they will still be exercising at least once, and probably several times.

Invitation

You are being invited to consider taking part in the research study ‘Study of the effects of interventions on exercise adherence.’  This project is being undertaken by Rachel Hallett, a PhD candidate at Keele University who has a particular interest in motivation and exercise.

Before you decide whether or not you wish to take part, it is important for you to understand why this research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read this information carefully and discuss it with friends and relatives if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is unclear or if you would like more information.

Why have I been chosen?

This research is looking at whether people who have taken up exercise either for the first time or after a break of at least 6 months manage to keep exercising reguarlly once they've started again. You’ve been invited to join the project because you have taken up exercise after a break, or are about to do so. The researcher hopes to recruit at least 100 participants.

Do I have to take part?

You are free to decide whether you wish to take part or not.  If you decided to take part, you will be asked to mark your consent on an online survey prior to completing it. You are free to withdraw from this study at any time and without giving reasons.

What will happen if I take part?

Your participation involves reporting to the researcher roughly once a month over the course of a year about your exercise activities for a particular week. This will be done online: you won’t be required to meet the researcher nor to travel to take part in specific activities. You will be reporting on what you do (or don’t do) as your normal day-to-day activities.

The first stage of the study is the completion of a survey online to check that you are safe to start an exercise programme and to find out a little more about you, your intended exercise plan and your personality. You can find that here. You’ll also be asked about what activity/activities you plan to do, and how often you hope to exercise each week. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, nor whether it’s structured as part of a group or whether it’s something you do on your own, such as an exercise video or going out for a walk, or whether you’re varying your activities. All that matters is that you are planning to start exercising regularly either for the first time or after a break.

Once you’ve completed the survey, if it’s considered safe for you to take part, you’ll be assigned to a group and sent further instructions. Whichever group you’re in, you’ll be asked once every four weeks to supply the researcher with some information regarding how much exercise you’ve done that week. Every three months, you’ll also be asked to measure your weight and resting heart rate and, if possible, to complete a short stepping test. Full instructions will be provided on how to record this information and you’ll be given a link to the online survey that you need to complete each time. You’ll receive an email the week before you need to collect the information. Some groups will have extra short tasks to complete: this will be explained to you and you will be able to contact the researcher by email if you need further information.

If you’ve provided a phone number, you will be contacted very occasionally to check you understand what you’ve been asked to do, and so the researcher can answer any queries you may have.

You may find that you need to or want to withdraw from the study before it’s completed. You can do so by contacting the researcher at r.j.hallett@keele.ac.uk. You may also find that a temporary situation e.g. a holiday or an injury stops you taking part for a short time. If this is the case, please advise the researcher at r.j.hallettt@keele.ac.uk, and you can rejoin the study when ready.

The 4-weekly information collections will last for a year. You are free to withdraw from the study before the end of that period if you wish. The purpose of running the study for such a long period is because of the time it typically takes for people to establish exercise habits; the information gained from a shorter study would be much less useful.

If I take part, what do I have to do?

All you are required to do is try to exercise regularly, as you planned to do at the outset of the study. You may find you start exercising more or less at some point; that’s fine as you’ll report your exercise every four weeks and can note it down.

If you have friends taking part, I would ask that you try not to discuss what you’re doing. It’s important that any tasks that groups are asked to do are done only by that group, and it is likely that you will not be asked to do the same tasks as your friend(s).

What are the benefits of taking part?

Many people embarking on regular exercise find it hard to stick to, and just the action of taking part in the research and reporting on what you’re doing may help with this. Exercise has been shown to have benefits for both mental and physical health. The information collected from the study will help design ways of assisting exercisers in sticking to their programmes in the future, with positive implications for the wellbeing of all concerned.

What are the risks (if any) of taking part?

The risks of taking part are the same risks as those for anyone embarking on an exercise programme. Taking part in the research should not increase those risks.

How will information about me be used?

The information you provide in the screening survey and in subsequent reports on your activities will be analysed alongside all the information provided by other participants so that the effectiveness of the various tasks that some of the groups will be doing can be measured. The data will be used to explore whether certain factors seem to influence adherence beyond the tasks e.g. correlations between exercise adherence and personality.

Who will have access to information about me?

Only the researcher and her supervisor will have direct access to the information collected during this study. The data will be stored electronically by the researcher on her memory stick and in password-protected computer files. Your data will be identifiable as from you to ensure that all the data collected is linked to the correct person, but much of your survey completion will be done using a code that will be given to you at the beginning of the study.

Who is funding and organising the research?

The research is funded by a Keele University PhD Studentship.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you may wish to speak to the researcher(s) who will do their best to answer your questions. You should contact Rachel Hallett at r.j.hallett@keele.ac.uk.  Alternatively, if you do not wish to contact the researcher you may contact Dr Alexandra Lamont, the researcher’s supervisor, at a.m.lamont@keele.ac.uk.

If you remain unhappy about the research and/or wish to raise a complaint about any aspect of the way that you have been approached or treated during the course of the study please write to Nicola Leighton who is the University’s contact for complaints regarding research at the following address:-

Nicola Leighton, Research Governance Officer, Research & Enterprise Services, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, ST5 5BG

E-mail: n.leighton@uso.keele.ac.uk

Tel: 01782 733306

 

Contact for further information

Rachel Hallett

r.j.hallett@keele.ac.uk

Room 1.23, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 3BG

01782 734402

 


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