PLAIN LANGUAGE STATEMENT

Introduction
You are invited to participate in a research project, which is being led by the Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne and the eviDent Foundation. The Principal Investigator is A/Prof Matt Hopcraft at the Melbourne Dental School, in conjunction Prof Gordon Parker AO (University of New South Wales), Dr Roisin McGrath (University of Melbourne) and Dr Nicole Stormon (University of Queensland). This project has been approved by The University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (Project ID: 21897).

What is this research about?
The dental profession has long been regarded as having high levels of professional stress and burnout, however the mental health of Australian dental professionals has not been systematically studied.

The aim of this study is to investigate stress and burnout amongst Australian dental professionals across all practice settings, including private and public practice, teaching, research and administration.

Should you agree to participate, you would be asked to contribute to this by completing an online questionnaire, at a time convenient to you. This questionnaire comprises ten sections (Sections A to J), focusing on general demographic information; burnout; perfectionism; general health; psychological distress; alcohol and other drug usage; resilience; depression & suicide; and relaxing & staying healthy. The questions are in multiple-choice format, and we would ask you to provide accurate information and your honest opinions on these topics. We estimate that the time commitment required of you would not exceed 30 minutes.

What will I need to do?
• Participation in the study is voluntary, and it is your decision whether or not to take part in this study.
• You may withdraw any unprocessed data you have supplied prior to clicking the final ‘Submit’ button at the completion of the survey
• Consent will be implied by completing the questionnaire
• Please complete the online questionnaire, and click ‘Done’ to submit
• If you would prefer not to participate in the study, simply do not complete the questionnaire
What will happen in this study?
The survey will take about 15-20 minutes to complete all of these sections. This study asks a range of very personal questions. However, we feel that it is important to understand the problems currently being faced by dental practitioners in practice, in order that appropriate mechanisms are in place to deal with these problems. We therefore encourage you to complete all of the questions.

How will you protect my privacy?
We intend to protect your anonymity and the confidentiality of your responses to the fullest possible extent, within the limits of the law. Please be aware that the issue of confidentiality has particular significance for this questionnaire, as there are a number of personal and sensitive questions included, with references to mental health and the use of alcohol and recreational drug use. It is important for the integrity of the research that people respond truthfully and accurately.
  • The questionnaire is designed so that it should not be possible for researchers to identify participants.
  • The questionnaire is completely anonymous, and questions are designed in such a way that prevents anyone, even the researchers, from guessing your identity.
  • You also have the option of not including some of the demographic information in the questionnaire if you feel it might potentially identify you.
  • Furthermore, SurveyMonkey configuration has been set to not collect your IP address when you submit the survey as a further mechanism to protect your anonymity. Further information on this can be found at Survey Monkey Anonymity.
  • Therefore, you should feel safe in being able to complete this questionnaire with complete anonymity. Participants may wish to read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of SurveyMonkey at Survey Monkey Privacy Policy

What are the possible benefits of the study?
By participating in this study your responses will be used to understand the prevalence and impact of stress and burnout in the dental profession. This information can then be used to help develop and target support programs for dental professionals.

What are the possible risks of taking part?
We do not feel that there are significant risks in taking part in this study. It is possible that some of these questions may trigger distress, anxiety or thoughts of depression amongst some participants. If this is the case, we suggest that you either seek medical advice or contact BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline's 24 hour telephone crisis support service on 13 11 14 or Dental Practitioner Support at dpsupport.org.au or 1800 377 700, or contact the Chief Investigator of this study.

If you find the questions distressing, you do not have to continue completing the questionnaire.
Funding
This project has received $5000 funding from the Victorian Medical Insurance Agency Limited (VMIAL) to pay for the licencing costs for the Maslach Burnout Inventory which is used in the questionnaire. The VMIAL provides philanthropic funding for projects to support the well-being of medical and dental practitioners.

Contact for questions.

If you have any questions or problems at any time during this study, you may contact A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft at m.hopcraft@unimelb.edu.au

This project has human research ethics approval from The University of Melbourne (Project ID 21897). If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Research Integrity Administrator, Office of Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 8344 1814 or Email: research-integrity@unimelb.edu.au
All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team and/or the name or ethics ID number of the research project.

If you feel that you need to talk to anyone, or that you may have depression or other health problems, either seek medical advice or contact:


INVESTIGATORS:
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft
Prof Gordon Parker AO
Dr Roisin McGrath
Dr Nicole Stormon

This survey contains some questions that some participants may find confronting, including questions about your mental health, depression and suicide. If you feel that questions of this nature will be difficult for you to answer, you should not continue with this questionnaire. By clicking 'Next' you confirm that you are consenting to participate in this research project.

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