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Facts and Questions

What is the purpose of PACE VT?

The purpose of this study is to understand the impact of state-level policies and communication campaigns on substance use beliefs and behaviors in young Vermonters. We also hope to learn the best way to recruit and retain youth and young adults for future surveys.

What would I do in the PACE VT study?

If you take part in the study, you will be asked to complete three brief (10-minute) online surveys over a six-month period. The surveys will occur approximately every 3 months. The surveys will ask for your date of birth to verify your age, the county in Vermont you live in, and your name, e-mail and cell-phone number in order to find the best way to reach you. The survey will also ask you sensitive questions like whether you have ever smoked part or all of a cigarette, if you have ever had an alcoholic beverage, if you have ever tried marijuana, and your use of other drugs. The surveys will also ask about your beliefs about substance use and opinions about policies to reduce substance use. The surveys will ask whether you have seen health messaging about substance use and what you know about substance use policies in Vermont.

How will I be notified when to complete the survey?

You will first be directed to a screener survey to determine if you are eligible to participate in the study. If you are eligible and agree to participate, you will immediately be directed to the study survey. You will have 24 hours to complete the survey after you open the survey link. Data rates may apply if you choose to receive the survey through text message.

You will receive the link for your two follow-up surveys through your preferred method (text or e-mail). Once you open the survey link, you have 24 hours to complete the survey. If you do not respond after the first invitation, you will receive several reminder messages via text and e-mail for each of the three surveys. If you have not completed the survey by the end of the response window, you will not be able to complete it and receive payment.

Is there a benefit to participating in the PACE VT study?

There is no direct benefit to you anticipated from participating in this study. However, we will use the information gained from the study to inform substance use prevention efforts for young people in Vermont and better understand how to recruit and retain youth and young adults for future surveys.

Are there any risks I face by participating?

You may be uncomfortable being asked about sensitive issues like substance use. All participants who complete eligibility screening will be provided with information on community resources for substance use problems.

Are there any costs associated with participating?

There will be no costs to you for participation in this research study.

Will I be compensated for participating in the PACE VT study?

If you participate, you will be paid at least $50 in online gift cards for completing all three surveys.

You will either be entered into a weekly lottery for a $50 online gift card or receive a $10 online gift card after each survey. You will receive a bonus payment if you complete all three surveys.

If you receive the $10 gift card at the end of the survey and complete all three surveys, you will earn a $20 bonus payment for a total of $50 in online gift cards.

If you are entered into the lottery and complete all three surveys, you will earn a $50 bonus payment. The chance of winning the lottery is 1 in 50 in this study. In the lottery group, it is possible to earn up to $200, but we expect that you will earn $50 in online gift cards.

Will anyone know my survey responses or personal information?

Your study data will be handled as confidentially as possible. If results of this study are published or presented, individual names and other personally identifiable information will not be used.

You will be asked to provide your name and contact information so that we can communicate with you during the study.

You will be asked to provide your name, address and the last four digits of your Social Security number at the beginning of the study. This information will be given one time to the University of Vermont’s Procurement Services Department in order to pay you for participation in this study. If you are not a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, you will be required to complete additional paperwork for payment.

We work with three outside vendors for this research study - one for our online surveys (Qualtrics), one for our online gift card payments (Rybbon), and one to conduct recruitment and track online payments (Hark). You will be asked to re-enter your e-mail address to collect the online gift card payments reimbursing you for participation in this study by Rybbon. Hark will have access to your e-mail address only to confirm payment in the Rybbon account. These vendors take appropriate steps to protect your confidentiality. Your contact information is stored securely and separately from your survey responses. At the completion of data collection for this study, your contact information will be erased from Qualtrics and Rybbon’s records. Finally, these vendors will only use your contact information to make it possible to do your study activities. Your personal information will not be sold or given to any other people or companies for any purpose.

To minimize the risks to confidentiality, we will use a random number to identify your data. The survey will be delivered through an online platform called Qualtrics. Your personal information will be collected and stored through Qualtrics and will be kept confidential. We will keep your name and contact information in a separate password-protected file from your survey responses. The only people with access to that file will be Dr. Villanti and the Research Assistant. Analyses of the survey data will use the random number identification, not your name.

If your data is used or disseminated for government purposes, it will be done under conditions that will protect your privacy to the fullest extent possible consistent with laws relating to public disclosure of information and the law-enforcement responsibilities of the agency.

Please note that email communication is neither private nor secure. Though we are taking precautions to protect your privacy, you should be aware that information sent through e-mail could be read by a third party.

To help us protect your privacy, we have obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality for this research from the National Institutes of Health. The researchers can use this Certificate to legally refuse to disclose information that may identify you in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings, for example, if there is a court subpoena. The researchers will use the Certificate to resist any demands for information that would identify you.

You should understand that a Certificate of Confidentiality does not prevent you or a member of your family from voluntarily releasing information about yourself or your involvement in this research. If an insurer, medical care provider, or other person obtains your written consent to receive research information, then the researchers will not use the Certificate to withhold that information.

Do I have to take the survey?

Taking part in this study is voluntary. You are free to not answer any questions or withdraw at any time. You can choose not to answer a question by clicking next to skip to the next question. You may choose not to take part in this study, or if you decide to take part, you can change your mind later and withdraw from the study by contacting Dr. Villanti at andrea.villanti@uvm.edu or 802-656-1187

You may refuse to participate without penalty or discrimination at any time.

Can I stop or withdrawal from the study?

Taking part in this study is voluntary. You are free to not answer any questions or withdraw at any time. You can choose not to answer a question by clicking next to skip to the next question. You may choose not to take part in this study, or if you decide to take part, you can change your mind later and withdraw from the study by contacting Dr. Villanti at andrea.villanti@uvm.edu or 802-656-1187

You may refuse to participate without penalty or discrimination at any time.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?

If you have any questions about this study now or in the future, you may contact us by e-mailing pacevt@gmail.com or by phone at 802-391-0610. You may also contact Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH directly at andrea.villanti@uvm.edu or 802-656-1187. If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant, then you may contact the Director of the Research Protections Office at (802) 656-5040.