Plain Language Information Statement

Full Project Title:  Do the personalities of cannabis users and non-users differ?

Principal Researcher: Associate Professor Andrew Francis,
Secondary Researcher: Mr Kevin Peel,; Ms Ivana Bacovic
Student Researcher: Ms Emily Trethowan,

To Participant:
This Plain Language Information Statement (PLIS) contains information about the research project. Its purpose is to explain to you the procedures involved in this project so that you can make a fully informed decision regarding your participation.

My name is Emily Trethowan and I am conducting research as part of my Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) at the Cairnmillar Institute of Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Melbourne, Australia. The research project is being conducted under the supervision of A. Prof. Andrew Francis and Mr. Kevin Peel and has been approved by the Cairnmillar Institute Human Research Ethics Committee.

Participation in the following study is voluntary, and no identifying information will be collected. Your consent to participate in the study is implied by submission of the completed survey. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time prior to submitting the completed survey, and this can be achieved by exiting the survey page. Once data has been collected, it will not be possible to withdraw from the study. By clicking on the begin button below, you are confirming that you have read the PLIS and consent to participating in the study.

Why is this research being conducted?

The above research project is being conducted to gain further knowledge in relation to the relationship between mindfulness, stress, and expectations regarding the effects of cannabis use in individuals who use or do not use cannabis. It is hoped that the findings of this study will contribute to the development of better services for individuals who are hoping to cease their cannabis use.

Why have I been approached?
You have been approached to complete the survey as you are an individual over the age of 18. The research requires a random sample from all sections of the population, not just those with experience of drugs. This study is examining personalities in individuals who are current users of cannabis, have used cannabis in the past, and also in people who have never used cannabis.

Possible benefits
The information gained from the study will contribute to existing research on cannabis use and non-use in individuals over 18 years of age. The research will aim to provide more knowledge regarding the role of mindfulness and stress on cannabis use and may inform prevention or treatment strategies. It is not anticipated that you will receive any direct benefit from participating in this study. You are able to obtain results of the study by contacting the primary researcher, whose details are listed below.

Possible risks
There are minimal risks associated with this survey as no situation specific information is requested from participants.  Although some of the survey questions relate to illicit substance use, the study is anonymous and confidential and no identifying information is requested from participants (including IP addresses or meta-data which can be used to identify participants).  It is therefore unlikely that you will experience any more than mild distress as a result of completing the survey.  However, if you find that you are experiencing distress due to your participation in the survey, you are able to the exit the survey at any time and contact the support services below.

-        Lifeline: 13 11 14 – 24/7 telephone support service
-        Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 – 24/7 telephone support service 
-        DirectLine: 1800 888 236 – 24/7 telephone support service for drug and alcohol concerns

If you are a student at the Cairnmillar, Institute, participating (or not) in this completely anonymous study will in no way impact your relationship with the Cairnmillar Institute.

If I agree to participate, what will I need to do?
To start, please ensure you have thoroughly read and understand the information in this PLIS.  To begin the survey, please click the "Next" button below.  By clicking “Next” you confirm that you are 18 years of age or older, understand the above information, and consent to participating in this research study.  The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and includes responding to items such as:
·        I find myself doing things without paying attention.
·        Have you been diagnosed with a mental health condition from a medical or mental health professional?
·        I felt that I was using a lot of nervous energy
·        I use alcohol or other drugs to make myself feel better

What will happen to the information I provide?

Any data gathered from participation in the study will be stored on a password protected computer and will only be made available to the principal and student researcher. The results of the study will be presented as a thesis and may be published in research journals or at conferences, however no identifying information will be included. The dataset will be destroyed 5 years after the publication of the thesis or other papers which arise from the result of the research are published.

Any queries about your participation in this project may be directed to:

A/Prof Andrew Francis Emily Trethowan
Principal Researcher Student Researcher
The Cairnmillar Institute The Cairnmillar Institute
391-393 Tooronga Road 391-393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East VIC 3123 Hawthorn East VIC 3123
Phone: 03 9813 4000 Email:

This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at The Cairnmillar Institute and will comply with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, 2007). 

If you would like further information regarding this study, if you have any concerns regarding this project, please contact the research supervisor or myself at any time. If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, then you may also contact the Secretary to the Human Research Ethics Committee. All contact details can be found below. 

Secretary to the HREC
The Cairnmillar Institute
391-393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East VIC 3123 
Phone: 03 9813 3400
By clicking the "Next" button below, you certify that:
  •  you are 18 years of age or older
  •  you have read the Plain Language Information Statement (PLIS)
  •  you consent to participate in the study
7% of survey complete.