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Title: Participant Information Sheet                                                      Version/Date: V1.0 15/07/2019

An Investigation of how Past and Present Experiences Affect your Reactions to Personal Possessions

CI: Paul Salkovskis                                                               REC Reference number: R64103/RE001



Jessica Barton

Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training



An Investigation of How Past and Present Experiences Affect Your Reactions to Personal Possessions

My name is Jessica Barton and I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Oxford, working with Paul Salkovskis and team. This is an invitation to take part in our research study.  

Before you decide, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take time to read this  Participant Information Sheet, and discuss it with others if you wish. If there is anything that is not clear, or if you would like more information, please ask us by emailing the researcher at or  

What is the purpose of the study?


For some people, it is possible that the way they related to people and things when they were younger has an impact on how they relate to people and things now. We also want your help with understanding how your early relationships affect your present friendships and how you see both people and possessions. To do this we need to find out about how you respond at the moment to other people and how you recall your past relationships. We are interested in how your friendships and other relationships work, including issues like loneliness and social support.


We are keen to hear from a range of people including those who have no current mental health problems, those with have obsessional problems and those who have hoarding difficulties.

Why have I been invited?

We are happy to hear from a full range of people. However, in some instances, you may have been asked to participate, as we are keen to gather the thoughts of people 18 years 0 months with no upper age limit, from these 3 groups:


1.     Consider themselves to have a significant problem with collecting and keeping clutter

2.     Consider themselves to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

3.     Have no current experience of mental health difficulties

You have been invited to this research if you identify with one of the 3 above groups. We aim to include the views of 111 individuals in this research project.

Do I have to take part?

No, taking part is completely voluntary. You have the right to withdraw from the project at any point during the study without giving a reason. As the data collected is anonymous you will be unable to withdraw your data once you complete the study. 

What will happen to me if I decide to take part?

We would like you to contact the researcher using the following email We ask you to contact us by these means so that we can jointly arrange a telephone appointment at a time that suits you to begin the study.


This entire study will be conducted in two parts. This will be(a) over the telephone or on Skype, and  (b) online to fill in a series of questionnaires. For the telephone portion of the interview, yourself and the researcher will arrange a time at your convenience to speak for 15 minutes. Your oral consent to take part in the research will be sought. This will be an interview designed to determine if you meet diagnostic criteria for “Hoarding Disorder”, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or to confirm you are not currently experiencing mental health problems. This semi-structured interview is used widely across the globe in psychological research and in clinical practice. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you like.  Our discussion will not be recorded, although the researcher will take notes at this stage.


Following the telephone interview, you will be invited to complete a questionnaire pack online that will be sent to your email. Alternatively, you are able to request the questionnaires be sent by post in paper format if you prefer. You will again be reminded of the details of the study and your consent to take part in this second part will be sought. The questionnaire pack will include some questions about your mental health, your early parenting experiences, the way you currently relate to other people and some questions about the level of social support you have. This portion of the study will take approximately 35-45 minutes. You can log in and log out of the program at your convenience if you would like to take a break from the questionnaires.


In acknowledgement of your time and contribution, you will have the opportunity to donate £2 of our research funds on your behalf to either Hoarding UK or OCD UK. These are established charities in the UK that provide information, support and advice for individuals distressed by the above problems.

Are there any disadvantages/risks from taking part?

Taking part will take approximately 60 minutes of your time in total. Some of the questionnaire measures, inviting you to reflect on your early parenting experiences, may be difficult to think about. The questionnaires have been designed with feedback from people with experience of having problems with their personal possessions. We have consulted with people with lived experience of these problems to minimise the potential for distress. However, it is possible you mind find answering the questions upsetting. You can either take a break from the study and return to it later, or withdraw from the study at any point. At the end of the study, or if you withdraw at any point during completion, you will provided with contact details of services and third-party organisations that will be able to offer support and guidance if you experience distress.


This study has been reviewed, and approved, by the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (ref: R64103/RE001). What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We hope that your participation in this will help us understand people who are experiencing difficulties and distress related to their possessions. This may contribute to the development of other treatments. However, there are no direct benefits to those participating.

Will my General Practitioner/family doctor (GP) be informed of my participation?


What happens with my information?


Data protection regulation requires that we state the legal basis for processing information about you.  In the case of research, this is ‘a task in the public interest.’ The University of Oxford is the data controller and is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. 

The information you provide during the study is the research data.  Any research data from which you can be identified (i.e. email address, telephone number and home address, should you request the questionnaires by post) is known as personal data.


Personal data will be stored on a password protected Oxford University Computer, accessible only on University sites. Personal data will be stored for 3 months after the study has concluded itself and then permanently deleted.


Other research data (including consent forms and the questionnaire data that you fill in using a unique participant identifier) will be stored for at least 3 years after publication or public release of the work of the research. This information will then be shredded or permanently deleted and destroyed.


The researchers involved in this study will have access to the research data. Responsible members of the University of Oxford may be given access to the data for monitoring and and/or audit of the research. All personal information that could identify you will be removed or changed before information is shared with other researchers or results are made public. Using the research data, we hope to report our findings in academic journals and present them to relevant charities, and to health professionals at conferences. The findings will also contribute to Jessica Barton’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. You will not be identified in any reports or publications arising from the study.

Data Protection


The University of Oxford is the data controller with respect to your personal data, and as such will determine how your personal data is used in the study.

The University will process your personal data for the purpose of the research outlined above.  Research is a task that is performed in the public interest.

Further information about your rights with respect to your personal data is available from



What if there is a problem?

Every care has been taken to ensure your safety during the course of the study. The University of Oxford, as Sponsor, has appropriate insurance in place in the unlikely event that you suffer any harm as a direct consequence of your participation in this study.

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please contact Jessica Barton (, 01865 226431) or Professor Paul Salkovskis (, 01865 226431) and we will do our best to answer your query. We will acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how it will be dealt with.  If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford who will seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible:

Chair, Medical Sciences Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee; Email:; Address: Research Services, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD


I’m Interested! What’s Next?

If you would like to participate, please email the following to set up a telephone interview:


Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet and for your interest in the project.



                                                                                       Jessica Barton

Trainee Clinical Psychologist

Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training

Isis Education Centre

Warneford Hospital

Headington, Oxford



You can also speak to the supervisors of the project about any questions or concerns using the details below:

Professor Paul Salkovskis (University of Oxford)

Dr Sasha Walters, Clinical Psychologist

Dr Ashley Goff, Clinical Psychologist