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Informed Consent

University of Miami
Nationwide Online Relationship Education

PURPOSE OF STUDY

You are being asked to be a part of a research study to test an online self-help program for your romantic relationship. This program is NOT marriage counseling. We are interested in the impact the online OurRelationship program on relationship and individual well-being.

WHAT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DO

  1. First, you will take a 20-minute online survey that asks about you, your information, and your relationship. Both you and your partner need to finish this survey to be part of the study.
  2. If you and your partner are eligible, you will take a second 20-minute survey.
  3. Next, you and your partner will have a 20-minute call with project staff and have a chance to ask any questions.
  4. After this initial 20-minute phone call:
    • You will work on online activities both separately and together with your partner. These activities will take about 8-10 hours to complete.
    • You and your partner will have four more calls with your coach throughout the program. Each call will last about 20 minutes. You should have these calls in a private location. You can do these calls on the weekend, during the week, or during the evening. At the beginning of a call, your coach may ask if it is okay to make an audio (not video) recording of that call. These recordings will only be used for supervision purposes. These recordings are optional; you can still do the study even if you do not want to be recorded.
    • You and your partner will be asked to complete one more research survey at the end of the program. This survey will take approximately 20 minutes and will ask about your individual background, personality, mental health, the relationship (e.g., satisfaction, communication), and your children (if applicable).

RISKS AND/OR DISCOMFORTS

Doing this program (or answering the surveys) may make you more aware of any relationship problems you have – which might make you upset or worried.

There may be uncommon or previously unknown risks. You should report any problems to the researcher.

BENEFITS

No direct benefit can be promised to you and your partner. However, in earlier studies investigating OurRelationship, the program helped the average couple improve their relationship and their mental health. So, it may be helpful for you as well.

WHAT COULD I DO INSTEAD?

If you do not want to do this study, you could see a marriage counselor, attend a relationship workshop, do another online program, or read a self-help book.

PRIVACY OF MY INFORMATION

To protect the privacy of your information, we will:

  • Use a study ID number: Your identifying information (e.g., name, address) will be separated from your survey responses after download. Your answers will be linked only to a study ID number.
  • Use secure log-in IDs and passwords. You will choose your own user name and password when you start the program.
  • Security of electronic data. Data collected as part of this study will be stored on secure servers at Qualtrics.com, Ripple Science, Kineo US (our website company in Chicago, IL), or Mathematica (a company that works with the sponsor).

Staff at the following companies may be able to see your information:

  • The University of Miami
  • Administration of Children and Families (ACF)
  • Companies working with ACF such as Mathematica

A Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC), issued by the NIH, covers this research. A CoC helps protect your identifiable information. A CoC protects your private information from all legal proceedings. Unless you consent, information from this research study that identifies you will not be shared outside this research except as described above.

  • No one can be forced to share your identifiable information for a lawsuit.
  • Your information can’t be used as evidence even if there is a court subpoena

The CoC does not prevent some disclosures.

  • The researchers can’t refuse requests for information from those funding this research. ACF and their contractors may need the information to assess this project.
  • You can still share information about yourself. You can also freely discuss your involvement in this research, but this is your choice. The information you share will no longer be protected by the CoC.
  • The researchers must disclose things required by law. This includes suspected child abuse and neglect as well as harm to self or others.

COSTS

There are no costs for you to do this study.

PAYMENT

You and your partner will each be paid separately. The values below are just what you will earn. You will earn up to $75 as part of this project. You will get:

  • $25 for completing an online research survey at the end of the program.
  • $5 for completing the 1st phase of the program (“Observe”), $10 for completing the first half of the 2nd phase of the program (“Understand”), $10 for completing the second half of the 2nd phase of the program (“Understand”), and $25 for completing the third phase of the program (“Respond”)

For all payments, we will email you gift codes from national vendors such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target. You will be able to choose your payment from one of these vendors.

RIGHT TO DECLINE OR WITHDRAW

Your participation in this study is voluntary. You do not have to start the study. You can also stop the study at any time during the study. The investigator can remove you without your consent if he feels it is in your best interest. Whatever you decide, you will not be penalized or lose benefits.

DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Dr. Brian Doss is a co-inventor of the intellectual property used in this study and an equity owner in OurRelationship LLC. Please ask any questions to assure yourself that this relationship has not overly influenced the conduct of this research study. If you require further information, please contact Dr. Doss or HRSO at 305-243-3195 to ask questions or discuss concerns. If you have any questions regarding disclosure review and the conflict management process at the University of Miami, please call 305-243-0877.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Dr. Doss is available to answer any questions you may have about this study. You can email him at bdoss@miami.edu or call him at (305) 284-1101. If you have questions about your rights as a research subject you may also contact the Human Subjects Research Office at the University of Miami. You can email them at eprost@med.miami.edu or call them at 305-243-3195.

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