Participant Information

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study. Before you decide we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. One of our team will go through the information sheet with you and answer any questions you have. Talk to others about the study if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear.

What is the purpose of the study?

There is research to show that veterans are more likely to suffer from hearing loss and therefore it is assumed they are also more likely to experience tinnitus. There has been some research in this area carried out in the USA but this is the first project of this size (that we are aware of) to look at the impact of tinnitus on aged veterans in the UK.

The aim of the project is to find out about the impact of tinnitus on aged veterans in the UK and to find out about the support they receive, or might need to help them manage living with tinnitus. This study will explore and record the experiences of UK aged veterans living with tinnitus and to use this information to guide current and future tinnitus support/healthcare services.

Why have I been invited?

You are being invited to take part because you have indicated you are a veteran who experiences tinnitus and you were born before 1st January 1950. We are inviting participants like you to take part to explore the impact of tinnitus on UK veterans, and to find out what support you might like.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part.  If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to complete an online questionnaire, or complete a paper-based questionnaire and return it by post. We will take completion of the questionnaire as consent to participate.  If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason.

What will happen to me if I take part?

You will be asked about your experiences of living with tinnitus, how you got tinnitus, the support you may have accessed and recommendations for any support you would like to be able to access. The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, depending on how much you want to write in response to some of the questions. You will only be asked to complete 1 questionnaire and at a time and location that is convenient for you.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There is potential for participants to notice their tinnitus more after thinking about it when participating in the research. If this happens and the participant requires support they are encouraged to visit their general practitioner, or to contact the British Tinnitus Association on 0800 0180 527.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The information we get from your participation in this study may help to inform the development of future support services for veterans with tinnitus.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

We will follow ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in confidence.

 If you join the study, some parts of the data collected for the study will be looked at by authorised persons from the University of Nottingham who are organising the research. They may also be looked at by authorised people to check that the study is being carried out correctly. All will have a duty of confidentiality to you as a research participant.

 All information which is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential, stored in a secure and locked office, and on a password protected database.  Any information about you which leaves the institution will have your name and address removed (anonymised) and a unique code will be used so that you cannot be recognised from it. 

 Any personal data (e.g. address, telephone number) will be kept for 5 years after the end of the study so that we are able to contact you about the findings of the study and possible follow-up studies (unless you advise us that you do not wish to be contacted).  All other data (research data) will be anonymous and will be kept securely for 7 years.  After this time your data will be disposed of securely.  During this time all precautions will be taken by all those involved to maintain your confidentiality, only members of the research team will have access to your personal data.

 We would also like to seek your consent so that the research data you have given may be stored and used in possible future research during and after 7 years– this is optional (please indicate you agree to this on the consent form).

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

 Your participation is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time, without giving any reason should you wish to do so, we recommend doing this within 7 days of completing the questionnaire.  After that point, it may not be possible to remove your data from the study, meaning that it may still be used in our analysis.  However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

What will happen to the results of the research study

The results from the study will be analysed to see if there are any common experiences amongst UK aged veterans who experience tinnitus. These will be used to develop a report which will include best practice guidelines and recommendations for future services to support veterans and make suggestions for further research that may be needed. The report will be disseminated late 2019. You can request a copy of the report from the research team.

Who is organising and funding the research?

 This research is being organised by the University of Nottingham and the British Tinnitus Association, and it is being funded by The Royal British Legion as part of the Aged Veterans Fund which is funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.

Who has reviewed the study?

 All research in the University of Nottingham 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 Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (FMHS) Research Ethics Committee.

What if there is a problem?

 If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should contact the Chief investigator e-mail: [email protected].  The full contact details of the research team are given at the end of this information sheet. If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, you should then contact the FMHS Research Ethics Committee Administrator, c/o The University of Nottingham, Faculty PVC Office, B Floor, Medical School, Queen’s Medical Centre Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, NG7 2UH or via E-mail: [email protected] .  Please quote ref no:  FMHS 17-1805

Further information and contact details

 Chief investigator: Dr Derek Hoare

Associate Professor in Hearing Sciences

School of Medicine, University of Nottingham

Phone:  +44 (0)115 82 32630,

Email: [email protected]


Co-investigator:                Georgina Burns-O’Connell

Visiting Research Fellow, University of Nottingham

Research Officer, British Tinnitus Association

Phone: +44 (0)114 250 9933/ 07305078490

Email: [email protected]/ [email protected] 

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