How do people with hoarding difficulties remember their experiences?

Sarah Densham is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at The University of Bath and she is conducting a study with Dr James Gregory (Clinical Psychologist & Senior Lecturer at The University of Bath).  

What is the purpose of this study?

This study aims to find out more about how people with hoarding difficulties (i.e. people who experience hoarding difficulties struggle to discard their possessions, which can lead to their home being cluttered by their possessions) process their memories.

Who can take part?

· People with hoarding difficulties

· People who experience obsessions and compulsions/OCD

· People with no current mental health difficulties (so we can compare the experiences of people with and without mental health difficulties)

Some people feel that they have both OCD and difficulties with hoarding. You can still be part of this study if this is your experience. You will be asked near the beginning of the study which of these difficulties you currently feel is most impacting on you.

Is there anyone who cannot take part?

Unfortunately, this study currently isn’t suited for anyone who:

· has been diagnosed with any organic brain injury or neurological disorder

· has undergone electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the past or at present

· is under the age of 18

· is currently receiving psychological treatment

· does not speak English

· is currently dependent on substances (not prescribed medication)

What will be asked of me if I take part?

If you decide that you would like to take part in the study, it will take place in two stages:

1. Once you've read this information page, you will be asked to complete a consent form to say that you have understood and consent to participation. You will then complete some brief screening questions to make sure that the study is suitable for you. This will take approximately 20 minutes. It is possible that you may not be eligible to take part.

2. If the study is suitable for you, you will then be asked to complete an online memory task. This memory task involves recalling specific memories in response to word cues that will be presented on your computer screen. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. You will then be asked to complete one further questionnaire about any difficult life experiences, which is entirely optional to complete. This will take around 20 minutes to complete.

After you have completed the study, you will be taken to a page which provides some extra debrief information about the study.

Altogether, your participation will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.

What happens to the results of the study?

The findings will be written up in a generalised, anonymous research report which hopefully will be reported in academic/clinical health related journals. The findings will also form part of Sarah Densham’s research portfolio as part of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology training requirements. The hope is to raise the profile of research into hoarding and OCD problems by presenting the findings to relevant health professionals at meetings and conferences. All of the information provided by you will remain anonymised.

Are there any advantages/benefits from taking part?

Whilst there is no guarantee that the information you give will be able to help you directly, the hope is to develop the understanding of hoarding and the ways in which the effectiveness of treatment can be improved. If the study is suitable for you and you continue to take part after the point of screening, you will be provided with a £5 Amazon voucher.

Please note: based upon previous experience, online studies are at risk of fraudulent activity, such as trying to participate multiple times. Where fraudulent activity such as this is suspected then the participant payment will be withhold.

What to do next if I’m interested?

Please open the enclosed poster for information about how to participate. If you wish to discuss this study with a member of the research team before continuing, please use the contact details below.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.

Sarah Densham Clinical Psychologist in Training University of Bath Email: hoarding_research_study@bath.ac.uk

Dr James Gregory (Research Supervisor) Clinical Psychologist University of Bath Email: hoarding_research_study@bath.ac.uk