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Principal investigator:

John N. Lavis, MD, PhD                                                                                                         

Professor, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact

Director, McMaster Health Forum      

McMaster Health Forum

1280 Main St. West, MML-417

Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L6

Tel: +1 (905) 525-9140 x22121                                                                                                 


Student principal investigator:

Ahmad Firas Khalid

Doctoral Candidate

Health Policy

McMaster Health Forum’s Impact Lab

1280 Main St. West, CRL-209

Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1

Tel: +1 905 525 9140 x22521



1. Fadi El-Jardali, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Professor of Health Policy and Systems 

Chairman – Department of Health Management and Policy
Director – Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center 
Co-Director – Center for Systematic Reviews in Health Policy and Systems Research (SPARK)

Co-Director – WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice 

Faculty of Health Sciences, Room 140A

American University of Beirut 

Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020 

Beirut, Lebanon

Tel: +961-1-350000 ext. 4692

Cell: +961-3-357775

2. Meredith Vanstone, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine

Scientist, McMaster program for Education Research, Innovation & Theory 

Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis

DBHSC 5003E, McMaster University

100 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6,

905-525-9140 x 22113

Purpose of the Study

Our study examines decision-makers’ views and experiences of a website that you may or may not have used and that may be relevant to your work. We are interested in speaking to you about your knowledge needs, your experience and perceptions of using a one-stop shop designed to provide evidence for individuals working in crisis situations, and areas where you would like to see some improvement to assist your ability to use research evidence to inform decision-making in a crisis situation.

Procedures involved in the research

Your involvement would mean participating in a 60 minute Skype interview to be scheduled at your convenience. The language of the interview will be English. The interview will be audio recorded with your permission. Audio recordings will be transcribed verbatim (by the student investigator or a hired research assistant) and the written transcriptions will be used for data analysis. Detailed notes will be taken during the interview. Interview transcripts will be uploaded into NVivo for Mac, a qualitative software program. You will receive a copy of your signed consent form before the interview commences. We will either email or mail you the signed consent form for your records.

During the interview, we will ask you some general questions about your knowledge needs and the kind of evidence you use to address your knowledge needs. This will be followed by an opportunity to provide your views and experiences of Evidence Aid. Finally, we will ask you questions related to your overall experience. For example, we will ask you questions about the extent you found Evidence Aid navigable and whether you can easily find what you needed?

At the end of the interview, we will ask you if you know one or two others who would be well suited to participate in a similar interview.

Potential harms, risks or discomforts:

There is a potential risk related to the participant's views becoming known, however, safeguards are put in place to minimize the possibility of the specific details of the interview being attributed to any participant, and no information will be released about who in particular participated.

Potential benefits

The research will not be of direct benefit to you. However, we hope to advance understanding about how to better provide research evidence to decision-makers’ in crisis situations, which may indirectly benefit your organization or clients.


Every effort will be made to protect your confidentiality and privacy. Your interview and any information provided in the form of documents that are not in the public domain will be treated as confidential. Interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed and a personal identifier number will be assigned to each digital file and transcript by the lead researcher. Potentially identifying information (e.g., name) will be removed at the time of transcription. The primary student investigator will ensure that the transcript and any confidential documents are kept in a locked cabinet, the digital files containing the audio-recording and transcript are stored on a security protected computer, and the digital files, transcript and confidential documents are destroyed 10 years after the last publication of our findings. 

Your anonymity as a research study participant will be safeguarded. We will ensure that the list of study participants and their participant numbers will be stored in a different locked cabinet or security protected computer from those where the digital files, transcripts and confidential documents are stored. Confidential information will not be reported in a way that could identify either individual respondents or individual departments or organizations. 

For the purposes of ensuring the proper monitoring of the research study, it is possible that a member of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board may consult your research data. However, no records which identify you by name or initials will be allowed to leave the designated locked cabinets of the primary investigator’s office or password protected computers. By signing this consent form, you or your legally acceptable representative authorize such access

Participation and withdrawal

Your participation in this research study is voluntary. If you do not want to answer any of the questions you do not have to, but you can still be in the study. You may decide not to continue to participate, refuse to answer any particular questions, or withdraw from the study at any time without consequence (in which case the data you have provided will be destroyed if you so wish).

Information about the study results

We will be analyzing the information you and others have given us. We expect to have this study completed by approximately April 2019. We will be sharing the results of my study with you sometime after this date. 

Questions about the study

If you have questions or need more information about the study itself, please contact me at:

Ahmad Firas Khalid

Doctoral Candidate

Health Policy

McMaster Health Forum’s Impact Lab

1280 Main St. West, CRL-209

Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1

Tel: +1 905 525 9140 x22521


This study has been reviewed by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB). The HiREB is responsible for ensuring that participants are informed of the risks associated with the research, and that participants are free to decide if participation is right for them. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please call the Office of the Chair, HiREB, at 905.521.2100 x 42013.

(This question is mandatory)

I have read the information presented in the information letter about a study being conducted by Ahmad Firas Khalid, of McMaster University. 

I have  the opportunity to ask questions about my involvement in this study and to receive additional details if I request it.

I understand that if I agree to participate in this study, I may withdraw from the study at any time.  I will be given a signed copy of this form. I agree to participate in the study.

I am willing to participate in a 30 minute in person or telephone interview to be scheduled at my convenience.

(This question is mandatory)
Please state your name. This will serve as your consent signature.
(This question is mandatory)
Please indicate the date
Open date/time selector
(This question is mandatory)
I am willing to have my name and position appear on the study acknowledgement list as one of the respondents.
(This question is mandatory)
Please state your name and position if you agreed to have your name and position appear on the study 
(This question is mandatory)
Please contact me. I would like additional information about the study and/or my participation.
(This question is mandatory)
I would like to receive a summary of the study’s results.           
(This question is mandatory)

If yes, where would you like the results sent: