Participant Information Sheet

Name of Researchers: Imogen Thynne, Avithaa Thayaparan, Rachael Cornwell, Alissa Burrows, Hannah Street, Sarah Cleaver, Ellen Townsend.

Please complete this on a tablet or computer – the task is not yet formatted to work on mobile phones.

We are asking if you would like to take part in our research study. Before you decide, it‘s important to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve for you. So please read this information sheet carefully. Talk to your family or friends about it if you want to. If you wish to take part in the study, we ask that you do this in a place that you feel comfortable.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact

What is this study about?

We want to learn more about self-harm. Why do some people start to self-harm? Why do they keep self-harming? What helps them to stop self-harming or self-harm less?

We are interested in including people aged 18 years old and over.

Why have I been asked to take part?

You have been asked to take part because you have previously self-harmed.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form. If you do choose to take part in the study you can stop at any time. You don’t need to tell us why.

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to indicate on a scale (that looks like a thermometer) how you feel at the start and the end of the study.

You will then be asked some questions about your age, gender, when you first self-harmed, when you last self-harmed, how often you have self-harmed and your method of self harm.

You will then be asked to sort some cards which describe thoughts, feelings, behaviours and events which were important leading up to self-harm. You will be asked to do this card sort task for the first time you ever self-harmed and for the most recent time you have self-harmed.

How long will the study take?

The study will take around 20 minutes to complete but it varies between people.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

The CaTS covers personal issues and feelings. You may find some cards upsetting. If this happens, you can take a break and restart when you are ready. You may stop the study at any point without having to give a reason why.

If you become distressed there are contact details on each page of the study for you to use if you need including the Samaritans and Harmless, a charity that helps those who struggle with self-harm. There will also be a researcher’s email if you have any questions about the study.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We cannot promise the study will help you but the information we get from this study may help others in the future. Many people enjoy taking part in research.

What if there is a problem?

If you have concerns about this research at any time you can:

  • Speak to the researchers via
  • If you have any complaints about the study, you can contact the Chair of the School of Psychology Ethics Committee, telephone (0115) 8466020 Professor Stephen Jackson via email or post School of Psychology, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.
  • If you are still unhappy, you can contact the Head of School, Professor Paul McGraw via email, telephone 0115 9515295 or post School of Psychology, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.
Will taking part in the study be kept confidential?

Yes. All information which is collected about you during the research will be kept strictly confidential (private).

All information which is collected about you will be stored in a secure and locked office, and on a password protected computer database. The data will be stored at the University of Nottingham for 7 years after the end of the study, and it will then be destroyed securely.

If you complete this electronic version of the card sort which is maintained online, as an online participant in this research, we are obliged to make you aware that there is always a potential risk of intrusion by outside agents, for example through hacking, and therefore the possibility of being identified.

You should be aware that participation in the study will not affect any clinical treatments that you are currently having or are due to undergo and we are not clinicians.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

You can decide to stop taking part at any time before or during the study. You don’t need to give a reason and your legal or medical rights will not be affected. If you withdraw then the information collected so far cannot be erased. This information may still be used in the project analysis.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

We may publish the results in a scientific journal and present them at scientific meetings. This may not happen until sometime after the research has finished. Anonymized data will be made available for secondary data analysis. Your details will remain strictly confidential.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is being organised by the University of Nottingham.

Who has reviewed the study?

All research is looked at by independent group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your interests. This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion by the Research Ethics Committee.

Further information and contact details

For further information please contact the chief investigator, Professor Ellen Townsend, can also be contacted by telephone (0115 846 7305) or email (

If you encounter any problems or bugs with this website, please contact Lee Melton (

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Consent Form

If you would like to participate in this study, please indicate your agreement with all of the following:

I have read and understood the study information above.
I have been given contact details to ask questions and discuss the study.
Any questions have been answered to my satisfaction.
I have received enough information about the study.
I understand that I am free to withdraw from the study at any time...
... and without having to give a reason.
I consent to take part in the study.

Copyright (2016) University of Nottingham. Author, Self-Harm Research Group (PI Ellen Townsend)