Participant Information Sheet

The impact of digital consultations on the mental health and wellbeing of First Contact Physiotherapists in primary care.

You are being asked to consider taking part in an online survey to discuss your experiences with remote and digital consultations as a First Contact Physiotherapist. Before you decide to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part. Thank you for reading this information.

What is the purpose of the study?

Digital consultations involve remote primary care consultations, conducted by telephone, video, or through asynchronous text-based practitioner–patient communication via email or an online portal (e-consultation). The NHS Long Term Plan aims for patients to access ‘digital first’ primary care by 2023–2024 which will certainly make healthcare more convenient and accessible, however, valid concerns exist from clinicians about the added pressures to their mental health and wellbeing when using these digital tools. We want to investigate these current pressures experienced by FCPs using digital consultations with a view to inform future work to enhance workforce support.

Why have I been approached to participate?

You currently work as an FCP therefore your experiences with digital consultations will add significant insights to the research project.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is entirely 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 sign a consent form which you will also be given a copy of.

If you decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. Wherever possible we will withdraw any information you have provided us with. In some cases we may have already analysed some of that information, in which case we will not be able to withdraw it. However we will not collect any further information or contact you again with regards to this study.

What will happen to me if I take part and what do I have to do?

We would like you to complete a 5 – 10 minute online survey which will include questions about your FCP role and your opinions about digital consultations. You will also be asked if you would like to participate in an individual interview at a later date.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There are no obvious risks to taking part in this research as we will just be asking you questions about your experiences.

We also ensure that all data you provide us with is kept in a secure location and is anonymised to prevent anyone accessing your details. We will never allow anyone to access personal information about you or your experiences.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no immediate benefits to taking part in this research. However the information that you provide will help us to better understand the demands of digital consultations which currently has a limited evidence base.

What if something goes wrong?

The only thing we think could go wrong is that you are not happy with the way you or your information is managed. However, we do not anticipate this happening as we will ensure our research is conducted to the highest possible standards, you are treated with respect throughout, and we manage any information about you in a responsible and secure way.

If you should however have any reason to complain you should contact the Research Governance team at UWE on 0117 328 3615 or email We will ensure that your complaint is investigated thoroughly.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

The only personal information collected are your contact details should you willing to be approached about future research. If you do provide these personal details, the information will be removed so that you cannot be recognised from it.

We ensure that all information we collect meets all UK legal and regulatory requirements to protect you and your personal information. We will never share any identifiable information about you with anyone else now or in the future. 

Data collection and management will comply with University data security procedures and good practice guidelines.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

It is very important that we publish the results of our research so that others can learn from the findings, and health services can be improved. We will share our results in a number of ways, including articles for medical journals, reports to professional bodies and sharing findings on social media. The information that you tell us may be used for further research in the future, but this will not in any way be traceable to you as an individual.

Whilst the information you provide us with will help us write our publications we will never refer to you as an individual, or use any details that may personally identify you.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. Further details of this funding body can be found at Written information about NIHR can be provided on request.

The research is being run by academic staff in the Centre for Health and Clinical Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Further details can be found here Written information about UWE research can be provided on request.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) statement

The University of the West of England (UWE) is the sponsor for this study based in the United Kingdom. We will be using information from you in order to undertake this study and will act as the data controller. This means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly.  UWE will keep identifiable information (if provided for contact for future research) about you for up to one year after the study has finished.

Your rights to access, erase, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the study to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. 

Individuals from UWE and regulatory organisations may look at your research records to check the accuracy of the study. The only people who will have access to information that identifies you (should you provide it) will be the direct study team from UWE or those who audit the data collection process. Other people, such as those who analyse the information will not have access to information that identifies you.

You can find out more about how we use your information by contacting:

Contact and further Information

This study is being led by Professor Nicola Walsh at the University of the West of England, Bristol who is responsible for the overall management of the research.

If you have any questions, want to take part or to discuss any aspect of the study further at any time please contact:

Dr Zoe Anchors                                                                 

Thank you for taking the time to read this information and for considering taking part in the research.