Written By. Liana Weinberg
As part of our efforts to continuously improve the overall research experience for NINET lab participants, we ask participants to fill out a Participant Satisfaction questionnaire at the end of their participation. Below is a response summary from those who have taken part in our studies over the past years. We would like to thank everyone for taking their time to fill out this survey and for their participation.
The first three questions asked about the atmosphere of the NINET lab:
Overall, the NINET lab strives to and have successfully created a professional and welcoming environment. We accomplished this by communicating with participants in a timely manner, maintaining a tidy waiting area in close proximity to the treatment room, and carefully outlining the study protocol with potential participants before asking for their informed consent. This involves explaining the type of treatment they will be receiving, the benefits and risks associated with participating, and how they can expect to feel afterwards.
The next two questions asked how easily accessible and flexible the research team was:
When booking appointments, the NINET Lab aimed to make the scheduling process as easy as possible by working with the participant and their schedule. Additionally, we were mostly always available by phone and/or email should any problems arise. As for treatments, the research team thoroughly explained what the treatment will feel like, any side effects that may occur, and that the participant may opt out of the study at any time.
Communication is the most important in building a relationship and making participants feel at ease during the treatments. Next questions asked about the quality of communication:
The participants responded highly positively. 88.9% of the participants felt that they were always well listened to and understood, and the rest found that this was usually the case. 97.8% found that the procedures of the treatments were well explained.
Next, we asked about the accessibility of the NINET Lab website:
Several of the respondents reported that they did not use the NINET website prior to starting their study. Since then, we have directed participants to our new website where there is detailed information on all our current studies.
Visit our website at: ninet.med.ubc.ca
The NINET Lab research staff always strives to accommodate to every participant, and this questionnaire also asked for suggestions for improvements on the various research measures used.
Of the 25 respondents, one respondent suggested that it may be helpful to have subjects keep a diary describing their daily routine throughout the study which could potentially lead to new research questions.
Another reported that they were “comfortable with all procedures, as the research time provided an excellent briefing in advance of each research measure”.
Additionally, several respondents reported that EEG’s could be improved by decreasing the set-up time and two respondents suggested calming exercising for participants to do before going in the MRI machine as it can feel claustrophobic.
Professionalism is another trait that research staff should carry, so that the participants feel comfortable and confident that they are with good hands. The next questions asked about the professionalism of the NINET team:
29 respondents submitted feedback on whether or not their expectations of participating in a clinical research study were met. Of the 29, all except one felt that their expectations were met by the NINET team.
- “Yes. The study was as I expected since everything was explained out well.”
- “Yes. Exceeded my expectations. Helpful, understanding, compassionate team.”
We also asked respondents for potential research questions related to depression including diagnosis, treatment, and management.
- “Predicting factors regarding TMS responders, responders who will require maintenance treatment, advance indicators of required maintenance for effectiveness etc.”
- “Cognitive effects of depression & any information regarding prevention, remediation, or predicting those who will be most affected.”
- “What options are available for non-responders [to treatments]?”
Lastly, we asked respondents for any additional comments they would like to share. Several respondents replied with messages of gratitude with many saying their symptoms had decreased.
- “I feel that the study offered me a unique opportunity to treat my depression effectively for the first time.”
- “I saw a reduction in depressed thoughts which occurred about a month and a half after my final rTMS treatment with no other major change factors in my life at that time.”
- “The study doctors and research team at UBC treated me with kindness and patience. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the study and to work with this excellent team.”