Informed Consent Form

Research Project Title: Family Communication during Pandemics

Ethics Application Number: 2020s0130


Carman Neustaedter, SIAT, Simon Fraser University

This consent form, a copy of which is made available to you, is part of the process of informed consent. It should give you the basic idea of what the research is about and what your participation will involve. If you would like more detail about something mentioned here, or information not included here, you should feel free to ask the investigator(s). Please take the time to read this carefully and to understand the information.


The goal of our research is to understand how people are using technology to stay connected to family and friends over distance during a pandemic. We aim to use this knowledge to create new communication technologies that meet the needs of family members and their close friends.

Participant Recruitment and Selection

To be recruited for this study, you must be over 18 years of age.

Study Method

You will participate in either an interview or complete an online survey. Interview participation will occur over a video chat system such as Skype.

Benefits and Risks

Participants will not benefit directly by participating in the study. The risks of the study are expected to be none or minimal.

If you agree to participate, you will be free to withdraw at any time for any reason. However, data collected up to that withdrawal point may still be retained and used by the researchers.

Research results, such as published papers, can be obtained by contacting the principle investigator: Carman Neustaedter - 604-754-1191,

Data Collection

No one except the researchers and their assistants will be allowed to see or hear any of your data.

Confidentiality will be strictly maintained. However, video chat systems such as Skype are not considered to be confidential mediums. Thus, you can choose to participate over such a medium, participate via our survey, or choose to not participate in the study.

The online survey is hosted by Survey Monkey, which is U.S. owned, and as such is subject to U.S. laws including the U.S. CLOUD Act and U.S. Patriot Act. These laws allow government authorities to access the records of host services and internet service providers. If you choose to participate in the survey, you understand that your responses to the survey questions will be stored and potentially accessed in the U.S.. The security and privacy policy for the web survey company can be found at the following link:

Any data collected will be labeled with an anonymous participant ID.

All information collected will be anonymized. No identifying information will be kept alongside the data. We will record the audio for all interviews. Audio recordings will be transcribed, and we will destroy the recordings after transcription. Transcriptions, audio, and survey responses will be kept on a secure online storage system (SFU Vault) until 2023 or until the study analysis is completed. At this point, it will be permanently destroyed.

Refusal to participate or withdrawal/dropout after agreeing to participate will not have an adverse effect or consequences on the participants.

Public presentations of the results will primarily present the results in an anonymized form. Where individual participant data is disclosed, such as exemplar comments via quotes, we will ensure that the selected data does not suggest participant identities.

Acceptance of this Form

By completing this form you: 1) understand to your satisfaction the information provided to you about your participation in this research project, and 2) agree to participate as a research subject.

You are free to withdraw from this research project at any time. You should feel free to ask for clarification or new information throughout your participation.

To accept this form, please check the box below, and type your first and last names and today’s date in the following boxes as a form of a digital signature.

By clicking the button below, you are consenting to participate in the research.

If you do not wish to participate in the study, or do not consent, please close this window in your web browser.


If you have any concerns about the way you've been treated as a participant or concerns with the If you have any questions about the study, please contact Carman Neustaedter at

If you have any concerns or complaints about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, you may contact Dr. Jeffrey Toward, Director, Office of Research Ethics at or 778-782-6593.