Participant information

Research Team
Rebecca Schnittger, Psychologist in Clinical Training, National University of Ireland, Galway. Email:

Dr. Jonathan Egan, Director of Clinical Practice, Deputy Director of the D.Psych.Sc. in Clinical Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway. Email:, Phone: (091) 492956/0860221839.

Dr. Kiran Sarma, Lecturer, Department of Clinical Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway. Email:

We invite you to take part in this online questionnaire, which is part of a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Research Project and which has been approved by the Institutional Review Board. Before you decide if you would like to take part it is important you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve for you.

What is the purpose of the study?
An online questionnaire of adults is being carried out to understand the factors influencing the development of compassion fatigue, in particular the impact of a therapist’s attachment style.
What do you mean by attachment style?
Attachment styles are emotional relationships that are formed in the first few years with caregivers. The types of emotional relationships we have with significant others can be classified into different attachment styles.

What is compassion fatigue?
Compassion fatigue is a gradual adverse change in a therapist resulting from the stress of providing a therapeutic and empathic service to a client. A vast range of personal and workplace factors influences the development of compassion fatigue.

Why have I been invited to take part in the study?
You have been invited to take part in this study because it is likely you meet our inclusion criteria of being over the age of 18 years, and either a trainee or qualified psychologist or psychotherapist.

Do I have to take part?
No, you do not have to participate. There will be no adverse consequences if you decide not to participate. You can withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

What will my involvement require?
You will be asked to give informed consent and to complete a number of questions on an online survey; that will take approximately 20 minutes.

What are the possible disadvantages or risks of taking part?
This questionnaire will ask you to think about and answer questions about your relationships, your coping styles, your workload and levels of compassion fatigue. These aspects of the study may trigger difficult emotions. If you feel affected by any of the questions the contact details of support services are provided below or else you can contact the researchers directly.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?
Answering the questions may allow you the opportunity to reflect on how your relationships, coping styles and work environment influence you or are related.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?
Yes. The information from the data collected will be used exclusively for the purpose of this research. In reporting the conclusions of the study, the data collected may be used and reported in an article for publication. However, all personal, identifying information will be removed in order to maintain anonymity. Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) guidelines will be followed throughout with regard to confidentiality.
Contact details of support services
If you find that you would like to talk to someone about some of the issues completing this research raises for you, you should contact your GP. In Ireland you can also contact one of the following free services: the National Counselling Service on 1800 234 114; Connect Counselling on 1800 477 477 or AWARE on 1890 303 302. Abroad the Samaritan's service is available worldwide; UK (116 123), Australia (135 247), New Zealand (0800 726 666), USA (1 (800) 273-TALK). Lifeline is available in South Africa (0861 322 322).

Further Information
This evaluation is being conducted to better inform professionals working within the mental health service. We very much hope that you will agree to participate. If you require any assistance or have any questions about the study, please feel free to contact the research team.

* Please declare below that you are providing informed consent

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11% of survey complete.