Purpose: You are being asked to be in a research study of the effectiveness of job coaching for workers with chronic health conditions. We are conducting this research study to help us understand how a coaching intervention might help people who work with chronic illness manage challenges at work related to working and having chronic illness. You are eligible to participate because you have indicated that you have one or more chronic health condition(s), you work, on average, 30 hours per week or more, and you are not planning to retire within the next two years. The total number of people to be enrolled in this study will be 50.
Study Procedures: If you take part in the study, you will be asked to complete four 15-minute online surveys. One survey will be completed when you enroll in the study (now). Another will be halfway through coaching (6 weeks into coaching). Another will be when coaching is completed, and a final survey will be given three months after coaching is completed. The survey questions will ask about your chronic illness, your work ability, your levels of job-related satisfaction, work-related burnout, and your levels of self-efficacy or confidence on the job. Although your participation is most helpful if you answer every question, you are free to skip survey questions that you prefer not to answer without risk of being removed from the study. All surveys will be completed online; a link to an online survey will be sent to an email address you provide us. Note that it may be in your best interest to complete the online survey from a personal computer, rather than a work computer. All participants will receive email reminders to complete the survey one week after the original email is sent. You will also be asked to do a brief (approx. 15-minute) phone interview about the coaching experience at the end of coaching at a time convenient for you.
You will receive one-on-one coaching related to working with chronic illness free of charge. You will receive six sessions of coaching over a 3-month period of time (one session every other week). Coaching will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you. All coaching will be done over the phone. You will never meet face-to-face with the coach.
You may be asked if you agree to have your coaching session(s) audio-recorded. This is completely voluntary, and if you choose not to have your sessions recorded, it will not affect ability to participate in the study and receive coaching in any way. Audio recordings may help the researchers better understand how coaching works; you may elect to receive a copy in order to listen to coaching sessions at a later time as well.
After the study is over (after you complete your final survey and interview), we will destroy your contact information and you will never be contacted by the researchers again. This study will use a waitlisted control group design, with random assignment to groups. You will be randomly assigned to either start coaching now (after completion of the first online survey), or three months from the time you complete the first online survey.
Benefits: The possible benefits to you for taking part in this research study are greater awareness and insight into personal working situations and increased ability to cope with challenges related to working with chronic illness. Additionally, information from this study may benefit other people in the future.
Risks: By taking part in this study, you may experience the following risks: breach of confidentiality. We will take steps to minimize this risk and make sure that no one besides the researchers will be able to find out that you are participating in this study. First of all, your employer will never be told the names of participants, nor will your employer be given any identifying information that could lead to the identification of individual participants. In fact, your employer will have no additional contact with you related to this study at all.
All of your survey responses and interview question responses will be kept on non-networked computers. Your name will never be linked to your survey responses or interview questions. You will be assigned a code, which you will enter each time you complete a survey and this code will help us analyze the data from the study. If you elect to have your coaching session(s) audio-recorded, your audio-recorded sessions will stored on a secure site requiring an access code and password (Audio Acrobat). The only two people who will have access to audio recordings will be the Principal Investigator, Alyssa McGonagle, and your coach. If you want a copy of your own audio files, you may email your coach or the Principal Investigator, who will send you the file through email. Audio recordings will be deleted from Audio Acrobat upon the study's completion (February 28, 2013).
Costs: The study sponsor will pay for all costs and charges from taking part in this research study.
Compensation: For taking part in this research study, you will be paid for your time and inconvenience. You will receive an incentive worth $10 to complete the final online survey. At the end of the survey, you will be given the opportunity to be directed to a separate web form where you may enter your email address. A certificate to an online retailer worth $10 will be emailed to the email address you provide.
Confidentiality: You will be identified in the research records by a code name or number.
Voluntary Participation/Withdrawal: Taking part in this study is voluntary. 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. You are free to not answer any questions or withdraw at any time. Your decision will not change any present or future relationships with Wayne State University or its affiliates.
Questions: If you have any questions about this study now or in the future, you may contact Alyssa McGonagle at the following phone number 978-821-9855. If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant, the Chair of the Human Investigation Committee can be contacted at (313) 577-1628. If you are unable to contact the research staff, or if you want to talk to someone other than the research staff, you may also call (313) 577-1628 to ask questions or voice concerns or complaints.