Survey for Practitioners 

Participant Information Statement - Survey
Note. A PDF copy of this Participant Information Statement can be downloaded from: https://tr.ee/6N8WHEVF8D

Ms Kim McNaughton 
Associate Professor Caragh Brosnan

School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Sciences
College of Human and Social Futures
University of Newcastle
University Drive Callaghan, NSW 2308

Phone number: (02) 4921 6348
Email: Kimie.McNaughton@uon.edu.au
Email: Caragh.Brosnan@newcastle.edu.au

Research Project: “Other Medicine” in “Mind”: Understanding the use and practice of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) for mental wellbeing.
Document version 1, dated 10/03/2024

Dear potential research participant,

You are invited to take part in the research project mentioned above, led by researchers from the University of Newcastle.

The research is part of Kim McNaughton’s PhD studies at the University of Newcastle, under the supervision of Associate Professor Caragh Brosnan and Julia Coffey, and Professor Kerry Inder from the College of Human and Social Futures.

This project has received funding from an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (Strategic Engagement Scheme).

The information below gives more details about the study and how you can participate if you wish to do so.

1. What is the research study about?
The research aims to examine Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a means of supporting mental or psychological wellbeing. These forms of healthcare are often referred to as natural, traditional, or holistic. Examples include acupuncture, naturopathy, chiropractic, yoga, meditation, massage, dance therapy and reiki, to name a few.

Australia has one of the highest usage rates of these healthcare options among advanced nations. Studies have found that 63 percent of Australians use some form of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative Medicine, with an estimated 19,000 practitioners in this field. Research also indicates that some people use these healthcare options to manage mental health conditions, emotions, and general wellbeing. The use and practice of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative Medicine to support mental or psychological wellbeing is a potentially widespread phenomenon about which little is currently known. This research project aims to address this knowledge gap.  

2. Who is conducting the research?
This research is being carried out by researchers from the University of Newcastle’s College of Human and Social Futures.

3. Who can participate in the research?
For this survey, we are looking for individuals who:
· Have practised Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative healthcare to support clients’ mental or psychological wellbeing
· Are 18 years of age or older
· Live in Australia
· Can comprehend written and spoken English
· Have access to the internet or smart technology

Individuals who cannot participate in this study are:
· Children and teenagers under 18 years old
· Individuals who do not live in Australia
· Those who cannot read or understand English
· Individuals who do not have access to the internet or smart technology
· Those who have not practised Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative healthcare to support clients’ mental or psychological wellbeing.

4. What does participation involve?
If you agree to take part, you will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey covering:
· The types of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative healthcare you practice to support clients’ mental or psychological wellbeing (e.g. Reiki, Kinesiology, Chiropractic, etc)
· Your understanding of mental or psychological wellbeing
· Your practice habits (e.g. how often you practice);
· Demographic information (e.g. age, gender, education, etc);
· If you would like to be considered for a focus group
· If you would like to enter a prize draw to receive a $150 (AUD) Gift Voucher

The survey should take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on your responses. You can save the survey and continue later by emailing the survey link to yourself if you need more time.

Respondents who complete the survey will have the option to be included in a focus group pool, from which the researcher may select participants based on survey findings. Participant Information Statements for Focus Groups (PIS-FG) can be downloaded from the LinkTree Information Hub: https://tr.ee/1GmZz38gMP

If you choose to participate in a focus group, you will be redirected to complete a separate Expression of Interest Form for selection as a focus group participant. The Expression of Interest Form will ask similar questions to the survey, such as the type of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative healthcare you practice, your age, gender, education level, postcode, etc. This is so the researcher can match potential focus group participants to survey findings which will inform the selection of participants. For example, if the survey data shows that the majority of respondents practice Kinesiology to support clients’ mental or psychological wellbeing, the researcher may wish to select only practitioners of Kinesiology.

You will also be asked to provide your contact details should you wish to be entered in a prize draw to receive a $150 (AUD) gift voucher. This is so the researcher can forward the gift voucher to the winning recipient. Communications about the focus groups and prize draw are expected to be completed by March 2025 after which, all contact details will be fully deleted from all systems. An announcement regarding the Prize Draw being completed will be posted to the ‘Announcement’ section of the LinkTree Information Hub no later than March 2025, here:
https://linktr.ee/OtherMedicineInMind

5. Do you have to take part in this research study?
No. Participation in this research study is voluntary. If you do not want to take part, you do not have to.  And, if you do agree to participate and change your mind, you can simply close your browser window. Please note, due to the anonymous nature of the survey, data once submitted is not able to be withdrawn from the project, as the researchers will not be able to identify your responses.

6. What is the benefit of participating in this research study?
By taking part in this survey, you can help expand research knowledge on a topic that is currently not well understood. Your input will aid in enhancing our comprehension of the practice of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative Medicine in supporting clients’ mental or psychological wellbeing. Your feedback will also contribute to generating increased community and academic interest in these healthcare modalities concerning mental or psychological wellbeing.

Respondents who complete the survey will have the choice to enter a prize draw to receive a $150 (AUD) Gift Voucher.

7. Are there any risks involved in participating in this research?
Some survey questions concern potentially sensitive subjects, such as mental health and mental or psychological wellbeing. If any questions are uncomfortable or distressing for you, you can end your participation at any time by closing your browser and not submitting the survey.

Additionally, if you require support related to any of the survey’s topics, you can reach out to various National Support Lines, including:
· Lifeline on 13 11 14
· Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
· Mensline on 1300 789 978
· 13YARN on 13 92 76
· QLife on 1800 184 527.

8. How will your privacy be protected?
The survey responses you provide will not be identifiable due to the anonymous nature of the survey. Only the research team will have access to the data you provide in the survey using Question Pro. Privacy and Security Policies can be found at:
· Question Pro – https://www.questionpro.com/help/privacy-policy.html

The PhD candidate will delete all survey data held on Question Pro at the conclusion of the research project, no later than June 2026.

Question Pro data will be downloaded as CVS and Microsoft Excel files. These files will be retained securely for at least five years from the research project’s completion. Information will be managed and stored in accordance with the University’s Research Data and Materials Management Guideline (https://policies.newcastle.edu.au/document/view-current.php?id=72) or any successor Guideline, as well as any other applicable University of Newcastle policy provisions. Although there are limits on assurances of confidentiality, as research data/records may be subpoenaed by law, the questionnaire is anonymous, and it will not be possible to identify you from your answers.

9. How will information collected by the research team be used?
The data we collect will contribute to Kim McNaughton’s PhD and will be included in a doctoral thesis and potentially published in peer-reviewed journals. Findings may also be presented at seminars and conferences, and shared in newsletters, blogs, or similar platforms.

Your participation is anonymous, and your specific responses will not be identifiable in any research outputs. However, individual anonymous responses may be quoted.

A Summary of Findings will be available on the LinkTree Information Hub from approximately March 2025: https://linktr.ee/OtherMedicineInMind

10. What you need to do in order to participate
Please ensure that you have read and understood this Participant Information Statement before agreeing to participate and keep a copy of the downloadable PDF version for your reference (https://tr.ee/6N8WHEVF8D).
Then, if you wish to take part, please begin by clicking on "START" below.

11. Do you need more information?
Should you have questions, need further clarification, or seek further details about this research project, contact Kim McNaughton at Kimie.McNaughton@uon.edu.au or by calling 0478 229 898, otherwise contact A/Professor Caragh Brosnan at Caragh.Brosnan@newcastle.edu.au or by calling (02) 4921 6348.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this information, 
Concerns or complaints about this research
This project has been approved by the University of Newcastle’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H-2024-0115.

If you have concerns about your rights as a participant in this research, or if you have a complaint about the manner in which the research is conducted, you can contact the Chief Investigator Associate Professor Caragh Brosnan at Caragh.Brosnan@newcastle.edu.au or on (02) 4921 6348.

If you would prefer to contact someone independent of the research project, you can forward your concerns to:

Human Research Ethics Officer
Research and Innovation Services
University of Newcastle
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia

Phone: (02) 4921 6333
Email: Human-Ethics@newcastle.edu.au
Eligibility Criteria
By clicking “START” you agree that you:

· Have read and understand the Participant Information Statement
· Are a person who has practiced a form of Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative healthcare to support psychological wellbeing
· Are 18 years of age or over
· Live in Australia
· Can speak and understand English

If you do not agree with the eligibility criteria, please exit this survey by closing your browser.