Question Title

PROJECT TITLE: Insight To Sleep, stress, diet and POOping on work TIME (ITS POO TIME!): which factor is number 1 when going number 2 at work?

Dear Participant,
You are invited to participate in the research project described below.

What is the project about?
ITS POO TIME investigates the association between people’s work place environment, sleep, bowel movements, and gastrointestinal symptoms. ITS POO TIME aims to determine whether changes in patterns of sleep, bowel habits, diet, and stress might explain the association between certain occupations and gastrointestinal disease symptoms. As an entirely online survey, we cannot determine whether certain occupations “cause” gastrointestinal disease symptoms (e.g. indigestion, bloating, diarrhoea, loose stools, constipation). Also, participation in this study will not provide a medical diagnosis.  

Who is undertaking the project?
This project is being conducted by Dr. Phil Tully, Prof. Deborah Turnbull, Prof. Gary Wittert, and Dr. Sean Martin, from University of Adelaide, Dr. Suzanne Cosh (Psychology, University of New England), and Assoc. Prof. Antonina Mikocka-Walus (Psychology, Deakin University). The study has a non-research component, supporting® to build toilets and sanitation facilities in under-developed parts of the world (for further information see or donate

Why am I being invited to participate?
The study is open to person’s age 18 and over who have employment, full or part time, in any occupation, and have access to the internet. The study is not open to persons who do not work, are unemployed or retired.

What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey. The survey consists of detailed questionnaire asking about your occupation, salary, hours worked, bowel habits at work and at home, a stool identification chart, symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases, diet, sleep, stress, and medical history.

How much time will the project take?
The entire questionnaire is expected to take people 20 minutes to complete, depending on the nature of respondents gastrointestinal symptoms and bowel habits. If respondents have multiple gastrointestinal symptoms and other health problems, the survey could take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Are there any risks associated with participating in this project?
Participation in this study could foreseeably be associated with some anxiety or embarrassment when completing the survey. The survey asks about gastrointestinal symptoms, and this could lead to health anxiety or worry about your health and bowel habits. As an entirely anonymous online survey, we are unable to provide an immediate response to any harm or discomfort you may experience.

If you feel affected at all by the questions presented in the study, or if you would like assistance, please contact your doctor, psychologist, counsellor or local community health service. Alternatively, 24-hour counselling assistance is provided by Lifeline (phone: 13 11 14; Lifeline) and Beyond Blue (phone: 1300 22 4
What are the benefits of the research project?
The survey results will provide important information on gastrointestinal disease risk in workers, and for the first time explore the significance of sleep cycles and gut rhythms. As the first study on this topic, it may identify ergonomic and behavioural changes required in occupational settings to lessen the likelihood of gastrointestinal diseases. We do not anticipate any immediate benefits to participants.

Can I withdraw from the project?
Participation in this project is completely voluntary. If you agree to participate, you can withdraw from the study at any time. It is only possible to withdraw from this study before submitting the survey online, afterwards it is not possible to withdraw. Non-participation or withdrawal from the study will not affect any current medical treatment you receive or your employment.

What will happen to my information?

Each persons data is anonymous and non-identifiable by the study investigators. Data is collected and stored electronically on a password protected and secure server. Data is only accessible to the study investigators and will remain accessible for 15 years. The results will be reported as general group statistics, and the significance of risk factors for gastrointestinal disease symptoms. At the end of the study, the results will be made available on the study’s facebook page, and freely available in an open-access scientific journal.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the project?
Participants can contact the lead investigator to ask questions about ITS POO TIME
Dr Phil Tully     Ph: 08 8313 0514 
Prof. Deborah Turnbull
Dr. Suzanne Cosh
Prof. Gary Wittert
Dr. Sean Martin
Assoc. Prof. Antonina Mikocka-Walus

What if I have a complaint or any concerns?
The study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Adelaide (approval number H-2018-235) and The University of New England (approval number HE18-300). If you have questions or problems associated with the practical aspects of your participation in the project, or wish to raise a concern or complaint about the project, then you should consult the Principal Investigator. If you wish to speak with an independent person regarding a concern or complaint, the University’s policy on research involving human participants, or your rights as a participant, please contact the Human Research Ethics Committee’s Secretariat on:
Phone: +61 8 8313 6028
Post:     Level 4, Rundle Mall Plaza, 50 Rundle Mall, ADELAIDE SA 5000
Any complaint or concern will be treated in confidence and fully investigated. You will be informed of the outcome.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Phil Tully 
Prof. Deborah Turnbull
Dr. Suzanne Cosh
Prof. Gary Wittert
Dr. Sean Martin
Assoc. Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus
1.   I have read the attached Information Sheet and agree to take part in the following research project:

Title: Insight To Sleep, stress, diet and POOping on work TIME (ITS POO TIME!): which factor is number 1 when going number 2 at work?
Ethics Approval Number: HREC

2.   I have had the project, so far as it affects me, fully explained to my satisfaction. My consent is given freely.

3.     Although I understand the purpose of the research project it has also been explained that involvement may not be of any benefit to me.

4.   I have been informed that, while information gained during the study may be published, I will not be identified and my personal results will not be divulged.

5.   I understand that I am free to withdraw from the project at any time.

6.   I understand that once I submit the online survey I am no longer able to withdraw from the project.

Question Title

* 1. I consent to participate.

5% of survey complete.