Posted on February 3, 2020

You are being invited to take part in a research study to explore the nature, experience and perceived impact of cyberbullying to individuals who have experienced mental health difficulties. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully before deciding whether to take part and discuss it with others if you wish. Please ask if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Who will conduct the research

This research will be carried out by Hasan Waheed who is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Manchester. The research is supervised by Professor Sandra Bucci (Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Clinical Psychology), Dr Lamiece Hassan (HDRUK Research Fellow) and Professor Goran Nenadic (Professor of Computer Science). Please find our contact details at the end of the PIS.

What is the purpose of the research?

The study will look to explore the nature, experience and perceived impact of cyberbullying on individuals who have experienced mental health difficulties and are aged 16 years old and above. In this study, we would like you to share your experience of online bullying through social media websites e.g. ‘Twitter’ by completing our survey. Your response will then be explored using a research method called qualitative analysis.

Will the outcomes of the research be published?

The results of the study will be shared on the social media platforms in which data was collected. The results will also be submitted as part of a thesis dissertation to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme. We also anticipate that the results will be submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal for publication. All responses either by using the Twitter hashtag or completing the online survey will be anonymised after data collection and reviewed pre-submission to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme, peer-reviewed academic journal and social media platforms.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

The researcher has undergone an appropriate level of DBS check (as determined by their School and obtained via The University of Manchester).

Who has reviewed the research project

The project has been reviewed by:
• The University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health.
• The Clinical Psychology Community Liaison Group (CLG)
• The University of Manchester Clinical Psychology Research Committee

What would I be asked to do if I took part?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will have three options to participate in this study. The first option will allow you to respond to a tweet on Twitter with hashtags we regularly post on twitter e.g. #cyberbullydepression, #cyberbullyanxiety #cyberbullpsychosis to provide detail about your experiences of cyberbullying. We expect that this option will take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

The second and third options to participate will be in the form of an online survey posted on Twitter and Reddit. The online survey link will direct you to the participant information sheet before asking you to write a response to the questions we pose. You will be asked to respond to three areas: (i) your general views of cyberbullying on your symptoms, (ii) what impact, if any, did the experience of cyberbullying have on your well-being; and (iii) what support was available to you. This option may take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes to complete

What happens if I do not want to take part or if I change my mind?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. You will be able to participate by responding to the tweet or through the online survey on Twitter or Reddit. If you do decide to take part via the online survey, you will be asked to click the online survey link which will present you with the participant information sheet. If you decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw at any time until the data collection period is over. You will be able to withdraw your tweets from the study by deleting your Tweets manually or contacting the research team to opt out before the end of the agreed data collection period. The research team will endeavour to respect withdrawals by removing deleted tweets and information from withdrawn users from the analysis. However, it will not be possible to remove your data from the study once it has been anonymised as we will not be able to identify your specific information. This does not affect your data protection rights. If you decide not to take part, you do not need to do anything further.

What information will you collect about me?

We are not collecting any personal identifiable information about you. However, we will expect you to read the inclusion criteria and identify with one of the following to participate in this study:

• Mental health status (for example, if you have a mental health diagnosis, or have received support in relation to psychological or emotional difficulties e.g.
• Self-reported symptoms of mental health difficulties (such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, trauma, social anxiety etc)
• Treatment in a mental health unit/ hospital for experiences related to mental health difficulties
• Input from a community mental health team or early intervention service for experiences related to mental health difficulties
• Therapeutic input (e.g. CBT therapist, psychologist) for experiences related to mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, trauma, social anxiety, mental health etc.
• Experiences of cyberbullying i.e. online bullying

Under what legal basis are you collecting this information?

We will not be collecting or storing any personal identifiable information.

What are my rights in relation to the information you will collect about me?

You have a number of rights under data protection law regarding your personal information but this is not applicable to this study.

If you would like to know more about your different rights, please consult our Privacy Notice for Research

Will my participation in the study be confidential and my personal identifiable information be protected?

In accordance with data protection law, The University of Manchester is the Data Controller for this project. This means that we are responsible for making sure your personal information is kept secure, confidential and used only in the way you have been told it will be used. All researchers are trained with this in mind, and your data will be looked after in the following way:

We will take a number of steps to indicate to you that your data will be used for research purposes. The study will include a statement in the Twitter account bio. Tweets accompanied with the #cyberbull hashtag will include references to ‘research’ and/or ‘research study’ to ensure that you understand that this information will be used for research purposes. This will be provided out of common courtesy to you and to prevent any distress that may occur if you felt your data was being used.

The research team will paraphrase Tweets unless explicit consent is obtained. Your Twitter and Reddit usernames will not be reported at any point throughout the study. The online survey allows you to post your responses to the questions in a more private platform if you are unable to post publicly on a public platform.

Important note: UoM requires identifiable data to be anonymised as soon as the objectives of the project allow. The standard retention period for data once anonymised is 5 years unless funders or regulators have specified longer retention requirements.

The data collected during the study will be stored in a secure place at the University of Manchester and only researchers will have access to it. Data files stored on the computer will be password protected. No names or addresses will be included, and participants will be identified only by numbers in any computerised data files used in the analysis of the results. The data you provide will be kept anonymously for a maximum of 10 years on the University’s secure server. It will then be permanently deleted.

Your information will only be used by this organisation and researchers to conduct research in accordance with UREC studies: The University of Manchester’s Privacy Notice for Research.

This information will not identify you and will not be combined with other information in a way that could identify you. The information will only be used for the purpose of cyberbullying and mental health and cannot be used to contact you regarding any other matter.

What if I have a complaint?

Contact details for minor complaints

If you wish to make a complaint, then you will need to contact the researcher(s) in the first instance:

Name: Prof Sandra Bucci at The University of Manchester
Role: Academic Supervisor
Address: Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health; Division of Psychology and Mental Health; 2nd Floor, Zochonis Building, The University of Manchester, Brunswick Street, M13 9PL

Tel: 0161 306 0400

If you wish to make a formal complaint to someone independent of the research team or if you are not satisfied with the response you have gained from the researchers in the first instance then please contact

The Research Governance and Integrity Officer, Research Office, Christie Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, by emailing: or by telephoning 0161 275 2674.

If you wish to contact us about your data protection rights, please email or write to The Information Governance Office, Christie Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL at the University and we will guide you through the process of exercising your rights.

You also have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office about complaints relating to your personal identifiable information Tel 0303 123 1113

Contact Details

If you have any queries about the study or if you are interested in taking part then please contact the researcher(s):
Name: Hasan Waheed
Role: Chief Investigator and Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Address: Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health; Division of Psychology and Mental Health; 2nd Floor, Zochonis Building, the University of Manchester, Brunswick Street, M13 9PL