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Please carefully read the informed consent form below before registering for this study.

Informed Consent Form

Purpose & Benefits

Thank you for your interest in this research study!  My name is David Hillel Rosmarin – I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University and this project is being conducted for my dissertation in clinical psychology.  This study hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of two different treatments for stress and worry among Jews, delivered via the internet.  To our knowledge, no studies have been conducted on this subject and therefore this research may be of great benefit to Jews living with stress and worry.

What is involved?

If you choose to participate in the study, you will first be given a 10-minute "screening" questionnaire in which your eligibility for the study will be determined.  If you are eligible to participate, you will be randomly assigned to one of the following three groups (described below): (1) spiritually-based treatment; (2) conventional treatment; or (3) no treatment.  Participants in all conditions will be asked to complete three on-line assessments.  The first assessment will be completed before the treatment period, the second will be completed at the end of the treatment period, and the third assessment will be completed 6-8 weeks following the end of the treatment period.  Each assessment will take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete.  As well, treatments will take about 30 minutes each day, for 14 days.  Therefore, the total time to participate in this study will range from 1-10 hours, depending on which group you are randomly assigned to.  After you complete the study, including all three assessments, you will have unlimited on-line access to the treatment group of your choice (spiritually-based or conventional) for one year (365 days).  Participation in this study is completely voluntary. Thus, if you decide to participate, you may change your mind later and end your involvement at any time without penalty or explanation.  It is estimated that 40-50 Jews will participate in each study group, yielding a total of 120-150 participants in the study.

Spiritually-Based Treatment

The spiritually-based treatment used in this study, entitled "Increase Your Trust in God," was developed in conjunction with Jewish community leaders and experts in rabbinic texts (including Rabbis Leib Kelemen & Noach Orleweck).  The program, which is presented in an audio-video format, contains four components: (1) an introduction; (2) readings about Trust in God, (3) four specific exercises to build Trust in God, and (4) prayer.  The purpose of the program is to strengthen the perspective that God is completely knowing, powerful, kind and loving, using ideas and tools that others have found useful.  The program is not designed to solve all spiritual issues or lead to absolute trust in God, rather it is a specific time-limited treatment designed to increase your faith.  To orient participants to the "Increase your Trust in God" program, participants who are randomly assigned to this treatment group will view a 10 minute orientation video a single time before beginning treatment, which will describe the content of the treatment and a brief explanation of why it may be helpful.

Conventional Treatment

The conventional treatment used in this study is called "Progressive Muscle Relaxation" (PMR).  This program, which is presented audibly (not visually), involves the systematic tensing and relaxing 16 different muscle groups (e.g. arms, legs, thighs, abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck and face).  To orient participants to PMR, participants who are randomly assigned to receive this treatment will view a 10 minute orientation video a single time before beginning treatment, which will describe the content of the treatment and a brief explanation of why it may be helpful.

No treatment

Those who are assigned to the "no treatment" group will not receive any treatment during the course of this study.  But, as mentioned above, participants in this group will have access to both the spiritually-based and conventional treatments for one year after they finish participation in the study (i.e., complete the three on-line questionnaires as scheduled).

Who may participate?

To be eligible for this study, you must:

Benefits of Participation

If you are randomly assigned to the spiritually-based or conventional treatment groups, you will immediately obtain a potentially beneficial treatment for stress and anxiety at no cost during the treatment period.  Additionally, after completion of the study and all assessments, you will have unlimited access to the on-line treatment of your choice (spiritually-based or conventional) for one year (365 days) no matter which group you are randomly assigned to.  Furthermore, all assessments and treatments in this study will be conducted over the internet and therefore you will not have face-to-face contact with a therapist.  This will enable you to receive treatment at a time and place that is convenient for you, and to remain anonymous if you wish (see below).

Risks of Participation

Both treatments used in this study (spiritually-based and conventional) have been designed to decrease stress and worry and are expected to pose minimal risk to participants.  However, the following issues may arise: If you are randomly assigned to receive spiritually-based treatment, it is possible that you may think of religious/spiritual questions and issues that you haven't thought of before, and this may lead to spiritual struggles.  This may cause some people to experience an increase in stress and/or worry, or other negative emotions.  If you are randomly assigned to receive conventional treatment (PMR), it is possible that you will experience an increase in anxiety as you become more aware of your body tension.  Also, on rare occasion, people who use PMR experience pain, heart palpitations and muscle twitching.  Additionally, if you are randomly assigned to the no treatment condition, you will not receive any treatment for 2 weeks and your symptoms may worsen during this time.  Furthermore, participants in all conditions will be asked to refrain from engaging in any additional psychotherapy during the 2-week treatment period, and from making any changes in psychotropic medications during both the 2-week treatment period and 6-8-week follow-up period.  While participation in this study is not anticipated to lead to any serious health risk, in case of injury or a severely adverse reaction, please contact David H. Rosmarin at (647) 834 1836 or your local hospital emergency department.

Your rights as a participant

Researcher Contact Information

This research is being conducted under the supervision of faculty member Dr. Kenneth I. Pargament in the department of Psychology, at Bowling Green State University. If you have any questions or comments about the study please contact one of us personally: David H. Rosmarin - drosmar@bgsu.edu – (647) 834 1836; Kenneth I. Pargament - kpargam@bgsu.edu – (419) 372 2301.  You may also contact Bowling Green State University's Human Subjects Review Board at (419) 372 7716 or hsrb@bgnet.bgsu.edu if any problems or concerns arise during the course of your participation in this study.

Thank you again for your interest in this study.  Please confirm that your have read the and understand the above and click below proceed to the on-line screening questionnaire which will determine whether you are eligible to participate in this study.

Sincerely,

David H. Rosmarin

David Hillel Rosmarin, M.A.
Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate
Department of Psychology
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Email: drosmar@bgsu.edu
Mobile Phone: 647 834 1836
Website: www.jpsych.com


This study is now closed to new participants. To be notified of the results of this study when available please join the JPSYCH email list.

 

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