Using ecological sampling method to explore the process of accommodation and its impact on dyads of individuals with OCD and their caregivers

Alexandra Williams is a second year Clinical Psychology doctorate student at Newcastle University looking at the impact of OCD on the individual and individuals who support them and she looking to recruit participants for her study. 

What is the purpose of the study?

To investigate what happens when a family member is needed or asked to become involved in their loved one’s OCD symptoms and the impact this can have on both individuals.

The study is primarily interested in investigating this by utilising a novel data collection method that allows the monitoring of this information on a daily basis. Previous research has found that it is common for family members or friends to help out with their loved one's OCD behaviours (sometimes referred to as ‘Accommodation’), although it is also known that at times individuals becoming involved in this way can mean that it is difficult for sufferers to benefit from psychological treatment. This programme of research will explore some of the factors that encourage family members to help out with OCD symptoms or behaviours, and the impact of these accommodation behaviours.

Existing research depends on individuals’ perception of accommodation after the events and an overall evaluation of the behaviours and feelings around it. This novel research will attempt to capture the behaviours in a more immediate and direct way by asking participants to give a brief snapshot of their experiences on a daily basis. It has been ascertained by a previous study that this approach has been found to be acceptable and feasible by previous participants.

Who can participate in the study?

Individuals with OCD and family members of individuals with OCD can participate in the study. Individuals with OCD and family members of individuals with OCD must be aged 18 or over in order to take part. If you are a family member of an individual experiencing OCD you must spend a significant amount of time with that individual (at least one hour a day) and must also not be involved in the care of another relative experiencing severe physical or mental health difficulties. If there is more than one individual who supports an individual with an OCD, it is recommended that it is the person who supports the most on a daily basis.

What is involved in the study?

If you decide that you wish to take part in the study, you will first be asked some questions to determine whether you are eligible to participate in this study. This includes whether you consider yourself someone suffering from OCD or consider yourself an individual who supports someone with OCD, your age and whether you have access to a mobile smartphone.

Following the essential criteria for eligibility into the study, there will be a few further questions gathering demographic information and information regarding accommodation behaviours. In total, this set of questions should take no longer than approximately 20 minutes, and will help us to ensure you are able to take part in the study. If you are willing and able to participate, an optional phone call or email from a member of the research team can be arranged to discuss the study in more detail, answer any questions you may have and talk through the practicalities of participating.

The requirements of the study are that you will be asked s an individual with OCD or as an individual who supports an individual with OCD) to answer a very brief survey (no longer than 5-10 minutes on each occasion) at several points throughout the day over a period of 14 days. You will be asked to complete the surveys using a smartphone. The questions will primarily be related to accommodation, or helping out with, OCD behaviours.

What are the benefits of participating in the study?

By taking part in this research you will be contributing to the knowledge base which aims to further our understanding of accommodation in OCD and to develop further research into the assessment and treatment of OCD. Each participant that completes the study will be compensated for their time with a £10 voucher.

How do I find out more about the study?

If you have any questions about the research, please get in contact with the researchers, at OCD.Research@newcastle.ac.uk and a member of the research team will contact you very shortly

Here is the link to the study: http://nclpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6gnRfaYMBWuc7Od