Online survey

**Participation in the survey is now closed**

Information Sheet

This page contains information about Phase 1 of the study (the online survey). Please read carefully, then click on the link at the bottom of the page to proceed to the survey.

Can I take part in this online survey? You can take part in this online survey if you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions:

  • Are you aged 18 or older?
  • Do you currently live in the Republic of Ireland?
  • Do you identify yourself as having or having had a mental health problem (a clinical diagnosis is not required)?
  • Have you used an online mental health self-help programme to get support for a mental health problem? (Please check this page if you are unsure)
  • Are you comfortable with using the English language?

Do I have to take part in this online survey? No – it is entirely your choice whether to take part or not in this survey.

What does taking part in the online survey involve? Taking part involves answering a survey online. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes.

The survey has four sections: a set of demographic questions (age, gender, sexual orientation, education, occupation, etc.); a set of questions about the online mental health self-help programmes that you have used to get support for a mental health problem; a set of questions asking about mental health interventions that you may have received; and a final set of questions about your use of the Internet in general and to get or share content related to mental health / mental health problems.

The survey is anonymous – you won’t be asked to provide personal information that can identify who you are, such as your name and contact details.

What if I decide to take part and later change my mind? If you change your mind after starting the survey and no longer wish to continue participating, simply exit the survey by closing the survey website. This will withdraw your participation, as long as you have not submitted your survey yet. You will not be able to withdraw after you have submitted the survey. Because your participation is anonymous, it will not be possible to know which survey is yours.

How will my identity and confidentiality be protected? Participation in the survey is anonymous. This means that you won’t be asked to share personal information such as your name, address, telephone number, etc.. Therefore, your identity is protected and no one (including the Principal Investigator) will be able to identify you.

The Principal Investigator’s supervisors and PhD examiners may ask to see participants’ surveys for the purpose of better monitoring the conduct and quality of the research study. Rest assured that your survey will be treated confidentially. Please be aware that confidentiality can only be protected within the limitations of the law – it is possible for information to be subject to subpoena, freedom of information claim or mandated reporting.

Your survey will be securely stored on the Principal Investigator’s password-protected computer. It will be kept for seven years after the completion of this PhD and research. It will then be permanently deleted.

How will my information be used? Your survey answers will be analysed alongside those of the other survey participants and the results will be presented as group information in the Principal Investigator’s PhD dissertation, conference presentations and academic publications of the research.

The Principal Investigator’s PhD dissertation will be published on DORAS, the Dublin City University institutional repository, which is publicly accessible online. A summary of the research results will also be published on this website.

What are the possible benefits and risks of taking part? You may benefit from knowing that your participation in this study will contribute to help understand how online mental health self-help programmes are (or are not) useful to people who use them to seek support for a mental health problem.

Included in the survey are some potentially sensitive questions, asking about your sexual orientation and ethnic/cultural background, what were the issues for which you sought help through an online mental health self-help programme, and what mental health interventions you received. Rest assured that, because the survey is completely anonymous, no one, including the Principal Investigator, can identify you and link that information to you. You can also skip those questions if you so prefer.

In the unlikely event of experiencing distress while answering the survey, you can try taking a break. If you feel the need for support or advice after experiencing distress, you may wish to make contact with someone within your own support network. Below are the contact details of services that may also be contacted for support:

HSE Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) – A professional counselling service for medical card holders. People are referred by their GP or other Primary Care professional. Information is available at the following link:

Healthy Living Centre (HLC) – Confidential, community based counselling and psychotherapy service. Address: Healthy Living Centre, School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 – Phone: 01-7007171 / 7007173 – Email: – Website:

Who can I contact if I have any questions about this research study? If you have any questions about this research study, please contact the Principal Investigator Manuela Ascari at 01-7008926 or email her at

This research study has been approved by Dublin City University Research Ethics Committee (REC reference number: DCUREC/2017/073). 

If you have concerns about this study and wish to contact an independent person, please contact:
The Secretary, Dublin City University Research Ethics Committee, c/o Research and Innovation Support, Dublin City University, Dublin 9. Tel 01-7008000, e-mail


It's survey time