Chronic Pain Study

Thank you for participating in this study.
The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

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Testing a novel psychological program to reduce chronic pain and associated health outcomes 

QUT Ethics Approval Number 1600000380


Principal Researcher:Dr Melanie White, Supervisor
Associate Researchers:

Julie Vermeir, Honours student
Luke Nykiel, Vacation Research Experience Scheme student
 School of Psychology & Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, QUT


This research is being undertaken as part of the Honours (fourth year) program at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The purpose of this research is to determine whether a new psychological program, completed on a computer once a week for 3 consecutive weeks, can reduce chronic pain and associated health outcomes.

You are invited to participate in this project if you:

• are aged 18 years or older,
• speak English as a first language, and
• are experiencing chronic pain (pain lasting at least 3 months and experienced in the last few months).


Your participation in this project will involve:

• Completing an initial online survey (15-20min), at a time and place of your convenience, prior to commencing the treatment sessions. The survey will include demographic (e.g., age, gender), medication and substance use questions, as well as questions about your pain condition, your experience of pain, your typical behaviour, and other psychological aspects related to pain (e.g., mood, thoughts about pain).

• Attending an in-person session, once a week for 3 consecutive weeks, with up to 20 other individuals at a QUT campus where you will complete a computer-based task that requires you to respond to the location of an object presented on the screen while your reaction time is measured. It is anticipated that the first and third session will take approximately 20 minutes, while session 2 will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. You will be randomly assigned to either the treatment or the control version of this task. Neither the researcher nor the participant will be provided information about this allocation.

• The day after each in-person session, you will be asked to complete a short (5min) online questionnaire where you rate your current experience of pain and mood.

• At 1-month following the final session, you will be asked to complete another online survey (20-25min), to obtain follow-up data on your experience of pain, mood, and other relevant psychological experiences associated with your pain.

Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary and all ensuing data collected is completely confidential. If you do agree to participate, you can withdraw from the project without comment or penalty any time up to completion of the 1-month follow-up survey by advising the researcher by email, phone or at the in-person session. However, your collected data will be de-identified upon completion of the final 1-month follow-up questionnaire (once all responses are linked), and as such, it will not be possible to withdraw after this time. Your decision to participate or not to participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationships with QUT.


As a participant in this trial of a new cognitive program for chronic pain, it is hoped that you may experience alleviation in some of the symptoms associated with your pain experience. However, we cannot guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from this research. It is expected that this research may lead to the refinement and future delivery of a new evidenced-based and practical treatment option for individuals reporting chronic pain.

To recognise your ongoing commitment and contribution as a participant over the three sessions and accompanying online surveys, first year psychology undergraduate students will receive 5% of course credit at the completion of all testing sessions and surveys. Please note that you must attend all training sessions and complete all surveys to receive any course credit.

Alternatively, if you are not eligible to receive course credit for research participation, you will be eligible to go into a draw to receive one of two $50 Coles/Myer gift cards that will be drawn randomly upon completion of all testing sessions and surveys. Please note that you must attend all training sessions and complete all questionnaires to be entered into this draw. Should you wish to enter into the prize draw, you will be required to submit your email address in a separate survey portal that will open after you have completed the final 1-month follow-up survey. Upon completion of the study’s date collection phase, the research team will draw the prize and contact the winning participants. The Terms and Conditions of the prize draw can be located at the bottom of this page. Please note the opening date for entries is 02 January 2017, the closing date for entries is 31 March 2017.


The research team does not believe there are any risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this research. However, it should be noted that all psychological procedures – whether for diagnosis or treatment, routine or experimental – involve some risk of discomfort. In spite of all precautions, you may feel some discomfort when answering questions around sensitive topics, for example around your mood. These questions may lead you to dwell on feelings of depression or anxiety. Furthermore, the content of some questions is personal (e.g., substance use), and may perhaps induce some slight discomfort. If participating in this research causes you discomfort in any way, please feel free to gain further assistance from any of the contacts listed below.

• Life Line (13 11 14) (Provides access to online, phone or face-to-face support. Call 13 11 14 for 24 hour telephone crisis support.)

• QUT Psychology and Counselling Clinic (07 3138 0999). (QUT provides for limited free psychology, family therapy or counselling services (face-to-face only) for research participants of QUT projects who may experience discomfort as a result of their participation in the research. Should you wish to access this service please call the Clinic Receptionist on 07 3138 0999 (Monday–Friday only 9am–5pm), QUT Psychology and Counselling Clinic, 44 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, and indicate that you are a research participant.)


All information collected from you for the project will be treated confidentially unless required by law. The names of individual persons are not required in any of the responses. In matching responses from the computerised task and the online questionnaires, an identifier code (generated by you) will be used. Thus, this coded data may be re-identifiable (by you only). The researchers will ask you to provide an email address that will be used to contact you with the survey links and to arrange in-person sessions. This information will only be used for these purposes, and will be stored confidentially and separate to your other data collected as part of the study. Once the study has been completed the email address will be destroyed.

Should you wish to enter into the prize draw, you will be required to submit your email address in a separate survey portal that will open after you have completed the follow-up questionnaire. This email address will be stored completely separate from your other responses and will be destroyed once the prize has been drawn.

Any data collected as part of this project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of research data policy. As per this policy, signed consent forms will be stored in a locked storage room located at QUT for 15 years after the project has concluded. All other research data (non-identifiable online survey responses and computerised data) will be stored securely in password protected electronic files by the investigators for 7 years after the project has concluded.
Please note that non-identifiable data collected in this project may be used as comparative data in future projects.


If you do wish to participate, you may commence the initial online survey and the research team will then make contact to arrange a suitable time for the in-person sessions. Submitting this initial online survey is accepted as an indication of your consent. However, prior to involvement in the sessions, you will be asked to sign the consent form indicating your ongoing consent to participate in the project.

If you require additional information before making a decision please contact the research team using the contact details given below.


If you have any questions or require further information please contact one of the research team members below.

Dr Melanie White:            3138 4714


QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Unit on 07 3138 5123 or email The QUT Research Ethics Unit is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner.


Terms and Conditions of Entry into a Prize Draw

1.     The Promoter is Queensland University of Technology ABN 83 791 724 622 (QUT) having its principal place of business at 2 George Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000.

 2.     By entering the competition connected to the research project named in the attached Participant Information and Consent Form, participants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

 3.     Submitting a survey fulfils the conditions of entry in to the competition.

 4.     The opening and closing dates of the competition are listed on the attached Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form. The prize winner will be selected by random draw which will take place at QUT on the prize draw date as listed in the attached Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form.

 5.     The first entry drawn randomly will receive the prize listed on the attached Participant Information Sheet. The prize is not transferable, refundable, exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash.

 6.     The Promoter will use reasonable efforts to notify the prize winner by no later than two weeks post the prize draw date. If a winner cannot be contacted or refuses the prize it will be offered to the next randomly drawn entry. The promoter’s decision is final as to the winner of the prize and binding and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the conduct of the competition or otherwise.

 7.     The prize will be available for collection by the winner at a time organised as suitable for the winner.

 8.     An announcement will be placed on the QUT Facebook page stating that the draw has taken place and the winner/s has accepted their prize. No identifying details of the prize winner/s will be made public.

 9.     If this competition is interfered with in any way or is not capable of being conducted as anticipated due to any reason beyond reasonable control of the Promoter, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the fullest extent permitted by the law to (a) disqualify any participant; or (b) subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority, to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the competition, as appropriate.

 10.     All entries become the property of the Promoter and will not be returned to participants.

 11.     Except for any liability that cannot be excluded by law, the Promoter (including its officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity), whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the competition ,including but not limited to, where arising out of the following: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Promoter's control); (b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or prize claim that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Promoter) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter; (d) any variation in prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions; (e) any tax liability incurred by a winner or entrant; or (f) use of the prize.

 12.     Each participant indemnifies and keeps indemnified the Promoter against all claims, losses, damages and expenses suffered by the Promoter or any third parties arising out of the breach of these Terms and Conditions by the participant, the conduct of the participant in the competition, the use of information supplied by the participant or the use of the prize. Under the applicable Privacy Laws, the Promoter must tell participants when it collects personal information about them and how it plans to use it. lf a participant chooses to enter or take part in the competition, the participant will be required to provide the Promoter with personal information such as the participant's name and email address. The Promoter collects participants' personal information in order to conduct the competition and associated research study. QUT’s Privacy Policy is available at: 

Thank you for helping with this research project. Please keep this sheet for your information.

Please check the following box if you agree to participate in this survey. 
Please check the following box if you agree to participate in this survey.