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Version Number 3 18/09/2017


REC Reference Number: LRS-16/17-4739


Title of study

A mixed methods study of the role and influence of digital technology in pregnancy and
childbirth in the UK.

Invitation Paragraph

My name is Philippa Machin, and this study forms part of my PhD research at Kings
College London, funded by a studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research
Council. I would like to invite you to participate in this research project, but before you
agree to do so, it is important that you understand the purpose and nature of the research
and what your participation will involve, if you agree. Please read the following information
carefully, and please do ask if anything is not clear, or if you want more information.

Contact details are given at the end of this information sheet.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of how women in the UK use
digital technology (mainly pregnancy apps) during pregnancy and childbirth. I am
particularly interested in how this relates to choices women make about giving birth.

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited to take part as I aim to recruit pregnant women in the UK who use
pregnancy apps.

Due to the timeframe of the project I am particularly interested in interviewing women who
are in the first three months of pregnancy, but you will still be eligible to participate if you
are at a later stage of pregnancy.

You will not be eligible to participate if you meet any of the exclusion criteria listed below:
Under the age of 18
Have an acute physical or mental health condition
Do not speak English
Not willing and able to give informed consent for participation in the study

Do I have to take part?

Participation is completely voluntary, and you are under no obligation to take part in this
study. Even if you have decided to take part, you are still free to stop your participation at
any time during the interview without giving a reason. You can also have research
data/information relating to you withdrawn without giving a reason up to 3 months after
your final interview.

Kings College London - Research Ethics
Version Number 3 18/09/2017

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you decide to take part, you will complete a short online registration form which will
confirm whether you are eligible to participate in the study. If you are eligible, and willing to
participate, you will arrange to attend an interview, at your convenience, which will last
around one hour. This will take place either in person at the location of your choice, or via
Skype. You will be invited to attend two follow-up interviews, one at a later stage of your
pregnancy, and one after you give birth. In the interviews, you will be asked questions
about your attitudes towards and experience of using digital technology, and your views
and experiences regarding pregnancy and childbirth. You will be able to refuse to answer
any question and may end the interview at any time. The interview will be audio recorded,
but the audio file and resulting transcript will be kept securely and anonymised.

What are the possible benefits and risks of taking part?

There are no significant risks to taking part in this study. If you do find that the interview is
distressing or upsetting for any reason you will be able to leave at any time. The main
disadvantage of taking part in the study is that you will be donating one to three hours of
your time to take part.

I will provide you with a summary of the final report describing the main findings, but there
are no direct benefits to taking part.

Will my taking part be kept confidential?

Yes. Your involvement in this project will not be disclosed to anyone other than me, and
the audio file and transcript will be anonymized. Any identifying statements in the interview
will be altered for the report, and you will be referred to using a pseudonym. In exceptional
cases for example, if you were to disclose an experience of abuse I may be obliged to
report this to the appropriate authority, but I would discuss this with you first. All data will
be handled in accordance with the terms of the UK Data Protection Act 1998, and the
European General Data Regulation (from May 2018).

How is the project being funded?

This project is funded by a PhD studentship awarded by the UK Economic and Social
Research Council.

What will happen to the results of the study?

The results of this study will be written up in my PhD thesis, which will be accessible in
print and online. Results may also be disseminated in conference presentations, and
published articles. In all instances, any information that has the potential to identify you will
be anonymised.

Who should I contact for further information?

If you have any questions or require more information about this study, please contact me
using the following contact details:

Kings College London - Research Ethics
Version Number 3 18/09/2017

Philippa Machin
Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Kings College London

What if I have further questions, or if something goes wrong?

If this study has harmed you in any way or if you wish to make a complaint about the
conduct of the study you can contact King's College London using the details below for
further advice and information:

Professor Barbara Prainsack
Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Kings College London

Thank you for reading this information sheet and for considering taking part in this

Kings College London - Research Ethics