Connecting People and Ideas in the Hearing Voices Movement

The following contains information about a research study that is being conducted independently of Intervoice. Please contact Lisa, the researcher, directly if you would like some more information or would like to take part.

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Hello. My name is Lisa Craig. I am an occupational therapy student at the University of Brighton. I am inviting you to take part in a research study exploring voice-hearer’s experiences of work.

The title of the study: Work-related experiences of people who hear voices – an occupational perspective.

Research tutor’s contact details: Dr Josh Cameron, Email: [email protected]

The purpose of the study: This is an MSc research study which seeks to understand how hearing voices impacts on people’s experiences of employment. Current research suggests that coping with hearing voices, amongst other things can make it difficult for people to get or keep jobs. However the research doesn’t explore this in any depth.  I am hoping to improve the understanding of how hearing voices impacts on people’s employment opportunities and experiences.

I am looking for voice-hearers to write about their experiences

(During June 2015)

I am looking for up to 12 voice hearers aged between 18 and 65. You will be able to take part in this study if you are aged between 18 and 65, and you have had first-hand experiences of hearing voices regularly. You would need to have some experience of work (paid or unpaid), and be living in the community. I would ask you to explore your experiences of voice-hearing in a diary. If you are willing to share these experiences and interested in writing about them, please email me [email protected] I am looking for people who are willing to write about their experiences for a period of 4 weeks. You can write in it as often as you like. It doesn’t have to be every day. It is up to you.

Do I have to take part?

Only take part if you want to. Taking part is completely up to you. If you need any further information, please email me [email protected]

You are free to withdraw at any time, you don’t have to say why.

What will happen if I decide to take part?

If you decide that you would like to take part, please give your consent by completing and emailing me your consent form. [email protected]

I will email you an electronic diary.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

You might write about positive experiences and negative experiences. It is possible that whilst writing about difficult experiences, you might feel upset. You are advised to think about identifying someone you can trust and talk with just in case this should happen. If you are using mental health services, it would be advisable to tell the person you see that you are taking part in some research which involves writing about your experience of hearing voices and work. Another support may be your GP. An independent support organisation is listed at the end of the participant information sheet.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

You may not benefit directly from taking part in this study but the information you provide will help improve the understanding of the lived experience of hearing voices. An understanding of how this impacts on what people do in work-related situations may improve employment opportunities for voice hearers. You may feel some benefit from writing about your experiences.

About the diary

In the diary I will ask you to give some information about yourself, including your age, gender, and education. I am interested in how long you have heard voices for, how often you hear voices, whether they are positive, negative or commanding and whether you find it easy or difficult to cope with the voices. The diary will ask whether you have a mental health diagnosis, use mental health services, and/or attend a hearing voices group run by the hearing voices network.

Writing the diary

Please write in the diary for two to four weeks. It is possible that in reflecting on and describing your experience of voice-hearing you may experience difficult voices and/or negative feelings. You may also end up talking about experiences you had not explicitly planned to talk about. If you feel yourself becoming distressed, I recommend that you stop writing the diary. If you need to seek support, sources include: The Samaritans (UK): Tel: 08457909090. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you are away during this time, please let me know. During this time, you can contact me to discuss how it is going. You can email me what you have written so far.  I can support you to keep the writing focused on how hearing voices influences doing work-related things. We can agree to do this by email or phone, whatever works best for you.

You can write as much as you like. I am looking for people who enjoy writing about their experiences. It is important to explore your experiences in depth, so detail will be welcomed.

In your diary I will give you some guidance about what to write about.

I am interested in your day to day experience of finding work and working.

When you have finished writing please email me your diary. I will read the diary and then email you to explain my understanding of the main issues that you wrote about. I will ask you to comment on whether or not you think my understanding of your experience makes sense.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

Your writing will be read only by the researcher and the research supervisor. Some of your words may be used in the write up of the study. This is a very powerful way to communicate people’s experiences. However we would not use your name, no one will know who said what. If your words are used, you will be given another name in the report so that nobody can know it was you.

The electronic diaries will be password protected and stored securely on the University computer server. Identifiable data will be destroyed in September 2015, however anonymised data may be kept at the University for up to ten years.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

This research will be written up as a dissertation paper by the end of August 2015 and possibly published in the future. You will not be identified in any report.

Who has reviewed the study?

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Health and Social Science, Science and Engineering Research Ethics and Governance Committee at the School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton on April the 7th 2015.

Is there any incentive to take part in this research?

Your time and knowledge is recognised and valued, however, unfortunately payment cannot be offered for your time and expertise as this study is part of an MSc course which does not have a research budget.

Thank you. Lisa Craig.

Intervoice was set up to support the International Hearing Voices Movement, celebrating the diversity and creativity within it. We do what we can to share information and connect people with groups, networks and resources.

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