Information sheet and Consent

This survey is run by the Applied Ecology Unit, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway.



Title of research; Lyme disease: ecology, epidemiology, risk assessment, and awareness.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in Europe and its rates are increasing in some areas of Europe. While there are innumerable benefits to spending time outdoors, one potential risk is posed by exposure to tick bites which may lead to Lyme disease. We don’t have much data on the rates of Lyme disease in Ireland, so my project looks into the environmental risk factors that might increase or reduce our risk of Lyme disease. I hope to identify factors that contribute to Lyme disease risk in Ireland, and to paint a clearer picture of Lyme disease in an Irish context.

The research Objectives include;
Estimate the incidence of Lyme disease in Ireland. Identify high-risk areas.
Establish the level of awareness of Lyme disease risk among groups who may be at-risk (e.g. hillwalkers, gardeners, farmers, ecologists) and find out what GPs think about Lyme disease.
Discover the ecology (species/community structure/hosts) of ticks in Ireland.
Find out how ecological setting influences the rate of Lyme disease infection in ticks. Identify which habitats are more likely to be high-risk for Lyme disease.


Why me?
You are a prescriber or are currently engaged in outdoor recreation or work in the outdoors in Ireland. Your opinion matters, as you can tell me what you think about the risk of Lyme disease in Ireland.


What’s in it for me?
Contribute to a unique project linking people, nature, health and wellbeing. This is the first study that links these three aspects in the context of Lyme disease in Ireland, and will be used to provide guidance on disease risk in Ireland.


What will I have to do?
Complete a short survey, which will take approximately 10 minutes.
What will I get out of it?
- Contribute to a PhD research project with NUIG.
- Your participation will help to create information on Lyme disease risk in Ireland, which will help others in future via more robust risk data which will help to inform awareness and prevention campaigns.
- This research will help you to inform yourself of your own risk of Lyme disease.


Final thoughts
If you decide to take part, you are still free to leave at any time and without giving a reason, just retain the ID you will be asked to generate while taking the survey. Your participation in this research is not influenced by your decision to take part. A decision to leave, or a decision not to take part, will not affect your rights in any way. All information is confidential. Only the researcher will have access to the survey responses, which will be stored securely and confidentially until 5 years after the duration of the project, when it will be destroyed.

Any Questions?
If you still have questions, please get in touch using the contact details below:
Ríona Walsh, r.walsh53@nuigalway.ie
If you have any concerns, or would like to speak to a neutral party about the survey, please contact the NUIG Research Ethics Office at ethics@nuigalway.ie.

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* 1. I am aged over 18 years

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* 2. I have read and understood the above information about this research. The information has been fully explained to me and I have been able to ask questions, all of which have been answered to my satisfaction.

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* 3. I understand that I do not have to take part in this research and that I can opt out at any time. I understand that I don’t have to give a reason for opting out.

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* 4. Storage and future use of information:
I give my permission for information collected about me to be stored or electronically processed for the purpose of scientific research and to be used in related studies in the future but only if the research is approved by a Research Ethics Committee.

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* 5. Please create a unique code/ID which you can retain and send to r.walsh53@nuigalway.ie at any time to have your responses removed from the study.

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