Informed Consent Document for SupportNet Study
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
PROTOCOL No. 13-217
TITLE OF STUDY: SupportNet for Frontline Providers: Internet Support System for Secondary Trauma and Burnout.
SPONSORSHIP: This study is funded through the Department of Defense Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.
FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDY, CONTACT: Charles Benight Ph.D., 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, (719) 255-4180.
PURPOSE: We invite you to take part in a study of job burnout and secondary trauma among mental health providers working with military personnel. Specifically, we are testing the effectiveness of an intervention for mental health providers who treat military trauma survivors. We are asking you to take part because you provide mental health treatment to military members (active or retired). Your participation is completely voluntary.
DESCRIPTION: We will recruit about 90 providers who work with active duty or retired military members into the study. If you decide to take part, you would begin by answering a set of questionnaires on a website. These questions focus mostly on job burnout, secondary trauma, and ability to cope with the demands of work. The items talk about the challenge of working with combat trauma patients. We ask you to answer the survey within 2 weeks.
Depending on your answers to the survey, we will assign you to one of the following groups:
- Group A: You would get coaching and access to the SupportNet online platform right away. We describe the coaching process and the SupportNet platform below.
- Group B: You would get the same coaching and access to the SupportNet online platform as people in Group A, but the start will be delayed until we complete the process for Group A (about 8 weeks).
- Group C: You would have access to the online SupportNet platform only. Access will begin right after Group assignment.
- Group D: You would be allowed to access the SupportNet platform, but will you won’t be followed as part of the study.
- Group E: (Mentors): You would be excluded from the study itself, but we will ask you to serve as a ‘Mentor’ for Participants in Groups A and B.
- Participants in Groups A and B will be given an online account for the SupportNet platform. The answers to the questionnaires will be automatically loaded into the self-assessment module of the online system.
- During the study period, coaches will encourage Participants to do various activities online, including using online information resources, being part of online discussions, setting self-care goals, and taking self-assessments. The Coach will have access to all online information.
- Coaches will interact with each Participant in Groups A and B for about 6 one-on-one sessions either in person, by telephone, or using tele-health capabilities. Sessions will take place over an 8-week period and will focus on using the website to set and achieve life balance goals, improve self-care, improve awareness of secondary traumatic stress and burnout, improve social supports, reduce stress, and increase work engagement. COACHING WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR 8 WEEKS.
ONLINE RESOURCES WILL STAY AVAILABLE FOR ALL GROUPS AFTER PARTICIPANTS’ FIRST 8-WEEK PERIOD, UNTIL THE FOLLOW-UP ASSESSMENT (DESCRIBED BELOW) IS SENT OUT.
SupportNet Coaching: If you are chosen to take part in the Coaching Element, we will assign you a Coach who will help you create strategies to address and prevent negative work outcomes, including secondary traumatic stress and job burnout, as well as to increase positive work outcomes like work engagement.