Participant Information Sheet

Full Project Title: The International Alcohol Control Study

Principal Researcher: Robin Room

  1. Introduction

You are invited to take part in this research project. Your phone number was randomly generated by a computer and then your address matched up to this phone number using the White Pages.  The research project aims to investigate how Australians drink over time and how changes to policy influence drinking behaviour.

This Participant Information Sheet tells you about the research project. It explains what is involved to help you decide if you want to take part.

Please read this information carefully. If you have any questions about anything that you don’t understand or want to know more about please contact Dr Sarah Callinan on 03 8413 8475. Before deciding whether or not to take part, you might want to talk about it with a relative, friend or your local health worker.

Participation in this research is voluntary. If you don’t wish to take part, you don’t have to.

2.         What is the purpose of this research project?

  • The main aim of the study is to learn about how Australians consume and purchase alcohol, especially on big nights. 
    • While other studies have collected information on how much Australians drink over time, this study will also examine how they purchase alcohol, as well as how much they drink on big nights.
    •  Approximately 2,000 Australians will participate in this study. 
    • People aged 16 and over will be asked to participate in the project.
    • This study is part of a larger International Alcohol Control Study that is being conducted in eleven countries internationally that is hoping to learn more about alcohol consumption around the world. 
    • The study is funded by the Australian National Preventative Health Agency and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.


3.         What does participation in this research project involve?

  • The Social Research Centre is contacting participating households and will randomly select a member of the household to participate in the study.  If this participant consents to participate in the study they will be asked a range of questions about their alcohol consumption and purchasing, as well as a range of questions on the outcomes of their drinking and their views on alcohol policy.
  • The survey will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes to complete.   
  • Respondents will be asked if they can be contacted again twelve months later for a follow up survey.  At the end of this survey you may be asked again if it is okay for us to retain your contact details for future work. 

4.         What are the possible benefits?

This study will provide important new information on alcohol consumption and related problems in Australia and its results will be used to better inform public policy surrounding alcohol.

5.         What are the possible risks?

If you become upset or distressed as a result of your participation in the research, the researcher is able to arrange for counselling or other appropriate support.  Should you become distressed, they can contact Lifeline’s 24 Hour Crisis Support Service on 13 11 14 or DirectLine on 1800 888 236 which provides 24-hour, 7-day counselling, information and referral Drug and Alcohol related matters.  Any counselling or support will be provided by staff who are not members of the research team.

6.         Do I have to take part in this research project?

Participation in any research project is voluntary. If you do not wish to take part, you do not have to. If you decide to take part and later change your mind, you are free to withdraw from the project at a later stage.  If you decide to withdraw, please notify a member of the research team.

7.         How will I be informed of the final results of this research project?

A summary of the results will be made available online in late 2013. This summary will be available from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research website (www.capr.com.au) in late 2013. If survey respondents would like to receive a summary of the project outcomes they will be asked to provide contact details for the summary to be provided. The letter accompanying the summary will not mention that the person participated in the study.

8.         What will happen to information about me?

All information you provide will be collected with all other answers from across Australia.  Any identifying information will be kept separately from your actual responses to the survey so that the two cannot be connected to each other.  All identifying information will be kept on a password protected disk in a locked cabinet.  Survey responses will be kept on a password protected computer file.  In any publication, information provided by respondents will be presented so that you cannot be directly identified.

Survey responses will also be added to an international database of responses to this survey with all identifying information removed.  The only people who will be able to access this information will be researchers working as a part of this project, and only to answer specific research questions that need to be approved by an advisory committee. We are bound by the Provisions of the Commonwealth Privacy Act, as amended in December 2001.

9.         Can I access research information kept about me?

In accordance with relevant Australian and/or Victorian privacy and other relevant laws, you have the right to access the information collected and stored by the researchers about you.  Please contact one of the researchers named at the end of this document if you would like to access your information.  In addition, in accordance with regulatory guidelines, the information collected in this research project will be kept for at least seven years

10.      Is this research project approved?

The ethical aspects of this research project have been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Eastern Health (EH E07/1213) and the University of Melbourne (1238911).

This project will be carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. This statement has been developed to protect the interests of people who agree to participate in human research studies

11.      Consent

If you receive a phone call from the Social Research Centre the person you speak to will give you information about the study before asking if you consent to participate in the study. 

12.      Who can I contact?

The person you may need to contact will depend on the nature of your query.  Therefore, please note the following:

For further information or appointments:

If you want any further information concerning this project or if you have any problems which may be related to your involvement in the project you can contact Dr Sarah Callinan on (03) 8413 8475.  Should you become distressed, you can contact Lifeline’s 24 Hour Crisis Support Service on 13 11 14 or DirectLine on 1800 888 236 which provides 24-hour, 7-day counselling, information and referral Drug and Alcohol related matters. 

For complaints:

If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about being a research participant in general, then you may contact the Chair Person of Eastern Health Research and Ethics on 9895 3398