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GCU - Visual Impairment and the Therapeutic Relationship Information Sheet


Visual Impairment and the Therapeutic Relationship Information Sheet


Introduction and study purpose

You are invited to take part in a study about visual impairment and any which this impacts the therapeutic relationship. The aim of the study is to explore the therapeutic support available to those with a visual impairment and what helpful and/or unhelpful factors are experienced when working with a therapist.  The research is being carried out by Lauraine Macdonald at Glasgow Caledonian University under the supervision of Dr. Richard Golsworthy. It follows BPS ethical guidelines and is approved by the Glasgow Caledonian Ethics Committee. 

Your contribution to the study will help us to understand more about how people think and feel about what factors are helpful when establishing a therapeutic relationship with someone who has a visual impairment. It will also allow us to develop our work in this important area. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand what participation in the study will involve for you. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Please contact us at the address below if you would like more information.

What will I have to do if I take part?

If you are interested in taking part, you are asked to attend for an interview that will be audio-recorded asking about your experiences in this area. It is anticipated that this interview will take up to one hour. You will be asked to complete both copies of the study consent form and this will be done with you before interviews take place.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is up to you to decide whether to take part. You can stop taking part in the interview at any time, and ask to withdraw from the research until four weeks after the interview takes place, without giving a reason, i.e. you do not have to return the study materials. This will not affect any medical care you might receive.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

Some of the questions may be quite personal but you do not have to answer any questions you do not wish. Participants may experience distress if the topic of therapy generates difficult feelings. Participants will be able to stop the interview at any time and the researcher will halt the interview if they feel it is necessary for the participant’s wellbeing.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We can’t promise that the study will help you personally. However, the results should help our understanding of the experience of individuals with visual impairment through the therapeutic process. This, in turn, is expected to be beneficial to Counselling Psychologists and therapists who provide support to individuals living with a visual impairment.

What happens when the research study stops?

A copy of the report can be requested from Lauraine Macdonald or Richard Golsworthy at the address given at the end.

What if there is a problem?

If you are concerned about your participation in the study and would like to discuss this further, please contact Dr. Richard Golsworthy on or 0141 331 8059.

What will happen to the information that you give?

The recorded interviews and data will be kept securely in line with Data Protection (1998) and BPS ethical guidelines. The data is for the researcher’s use only for the purpose of analysis for the proposed thesis. This work is then written up in the form of a psychological journal paper and submitted to the university for marking, and perhaps submitted to a journal for publishing. Any written work is anonymised and all identifying information removed from this piece of work.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Yes. Ethical and legal practice will be followed, and all your information will be handled in confidence.   Your consent form and recording and transcript will be destroyed after the study has been completed and submitted.  The responses that you provide will be treated in confidence.  Your rights are protected under the Data Protection Act and any information that might identify you will not be shared outside of the research team.  No identifying information will appear in any documents or in the final report.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This is a research project as part of my studies so I am funding this project myself. Your data will be stored securely at a personal address for five years before questionnaire materials are shredded.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The data will be analysed and the final report will be available to a range of people, including health professionals and researchers through written reports, established website reports, the media, presentations and journal publications. However, it will not be possible to identify any individual participant from these reports or publications.

Who has reviewed the study?

The School of Health and Life Sciences departmental committee has also granted ethical approval for the study. Consent to take part in the study will be obtained by Lauraine Macdonald.  You will receive a copy of all signed consent materials.

Further information and contact details

You can get more study information or discuss the project with the research team at: Lauraine Macdonald, C/o Dr. Richard Golsworthy, Psych Programme, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow. Telephone is 0141 331 8059. Lauraine Macdonald email address:


Thank you for taking the time to read this study information sheet.