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Over 50s, Alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic

26th May, 2021

Over 50s, Alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic

An Invitation to participate in research:

 
You are invited to take part in a research study. I am a researcher at Newcastle University Population Health Sciences Institute, and I study alcohol use amongst people aged 50+. My aim is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected alcohol use of people aged over 50.


I would like to speak with anyone aged over 50 who drinks alcohol, at any level.
This work is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme, which is part of the NHS.


What is the project about?
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected everybody’s lives; especially people aged over 50. We know that life changes linked to the pandemic and lockdown have affected how people use alcohol – about 1/3 of people over 50 are drinking more, whilst about 1/5 are drinking less.
In this study, I want to learn from people aged 50 and over, about how their drinking habits have changed during the pandemic.


This research is in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, to help understand the wider impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.


What am I being asked to do?
To find out what you think, I would like to arrange a time to speak with you about your experiences.


Will I be identified?
The discussion will be recorded so that I have an accurate account of your views. The recording will then be put into writing by a member of the study team. No other individuals will have access to the recording. At this point, we will change your name so that you cannot be identified. The recording will then be destroyed.
Anything you say will be kept confidential unless it suggests that someone is at risk of serious and immediate harm.

Where will it take place and how long will it last?
I will arrange to talk with you either over the phone or on a video call; whichever you are most comfortable with. Discussions will last approximately half an hour. All participants will receive a £10 shopping voucher as a thank you for their time.


Questions
If you have any questions about this project, please contact me directly. Contact details are provided at the end of this letter.


Ethics
This study was approved by the Faculty of Medical Sciences Research Ethics Committee, part of Newcastle University's Research Ethics Committee. This committee contains members who are internal to the Faculty. This study was reviewed by members of the committee, who must provide impartial advice and avoid significant conflicts of interests.

What should I do next?
If you feel that you may be interested in participating in this project, please get in touch with me (contact details provided at the end of this invitation). I will be able to answer any further questions you may have about the project. If you decide that you would like to participate, we can arrange a suitable date and time for an interview.
Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary. You do not have to participate in this study if you do not wish to.
I want to make sure that I speak with people from a variety of backgrounds. Consequently, when an individual gets in touch, I would like to ask for a few personal details.                                                                                                                 
This information will be recorded securely and will not be used for any purpose other than to select individuals for this study. Details will not be shared with anybody outside of the research team and will be destroyed on completion of the study.
 
This study will recruit up to 20 individuals for discussion.
This may mean that I cannot include everyone who expresses interest.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this invitation, and I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested in participating.
 
Yours sincerely,
Beth Bareham
Research Associate at Newcastle University
E: beth.bareham@ncl.ac.uk T: 07756240405
Project mentors: Barbara Hanratty e: Barbara.hanratty@ncl.ac.uk
 Eileen Kaner e: Eileen.kaner@ncl.ac.uk
 

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