COVID-19 Mental Health & Psycho-Social Support Survey at - University of Rwanda
Dear Reader,

Corona-virus (also known as COVID-19) was discovered in China in December 2019 and the world is currently affected by a pandemic. Symptoms of Corona-virus can include cough, fever, breathing difficulties, etc.

If you are Student (undergraduate or post-graduate) or Staff (academic or administrative) at the University of Rwanda, we are asking you to participate in a survey on Corona-virus. The fact that you have not been personally affected does not prevent you from taking part in the study: we want to know how you are experiencing the epidemic in this period of “staying home”. The results will be processed anonymously. They will provide a better understanding of the experiences of individuals, families, and communities regarding subjective experiences and coping mechanisms.


WHAT DOES YOUR PARTICIPATION REQUIRE?
If you decide to participate, your collaboration will consist of filling out the electronic questionnaire with several choices of answers for each of the questions. The objective is to gather information on how the COVID-19 have affected your life and strategies put in place to cope with. Some of the questions relate to mental health and could possibly be sensitive. You can withdraw from the study at any time. The questionnaire will take about 15 minutes to complete.

ADVANTAGES OF THE STUDY
By completing the questionnaire, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your personal experience of the epidemic and how it may have affected you. Reflecting on your experience can help you better understand many of the emotions you experienced during the epidemic and the strategies you have put in place to protect yourself. Gathering this information from students and staff at the University of Rwanda will allow us to better understand their experiences and to develop services that can serve the University of Rwanda community. So, your participation will contribute to the development of mental health services of quality.

INCONVENIENCES AND RISKS
A potential disadvantage of your participation would be that some questions would remind you of unpleasant episodes concerning the Coronavirus. However, if you feel the need to talk about a difficult experience, you can contact the service made available at the CMHS-Centre for Mental and talk to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The full information is accessible at https://cmh.ur.ac.rw/COVID-19MentalHealth/ and https://cmh.ur.ac.rw/COVID-19MentalHealth/?q=node/295

CONFIDENTIALITY
In order to ensure that you cannot be identified as a participant in this survey, the data collected will be treated in a completely confidential manner, which means that your name will not be included in our documents or disclosed to anyone in your community. With respect to the information contained in this consent form, only members of the research team will have access to the consent forms. These persons are bound to respect the confidentiality of the information consulted. The database will not contain any information that could identify you. In order to minimize the risks to your security and to ensure your confidentiality, we recommend that you use standard security measures, such as logging off, closing your Internet browser and locking your screen or device when you are no longer using it / when you have completed the study.

USAGE OF THE COLLECTED DATA

The results will be used to develop prevention and psychosocial support tools based on the real needs of the UR community. The results of the survey will also be disseminated, without the names of the participants being indicated, in scientific journal articles, presentations at conferences and symposia, and master's and doctoral theses by students. The data will be stored on secure servers at the CMHS-Centre for Mental Health. Analyses will then be done anonymously and confidentially by the researchers involved in the project.


RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RESEARCHERS

By agreeing to participate in this survey, you are not waiving any of your legal rights. In addition, you do not release the researchers from their legal and professional liability if a situation causes you harm.

IS IT MANDATORY TO PARTICIPATE?

No. Participation in this study is on a voluntary basis. You are entirely free to participate or not in this study. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time during the completion of the questionnaire. In this case, your information will be destroyed. However, as the data is collected anonymously, the data cannot be withdrawn once the questionnaire has been submitted. Your agreement to participate also implies that you agree that the research team may use the information collected for the purposes of articles, conferences, scientific communications and reports, on the condition that no personally identifiable information is disclosed.

PEOPLE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS
If you have any questions about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Vincent Sezibera, Principal Investigator, Contact Phone # : 0788 77 12 89, E-mail : vsezibera@gmail.com

For information on the ethical aspects of this research, you can contact the CMHS-Ethics Office, UR-Remera Campus, or call the Chairperson of the IRB Committee Prof. Jean Bosco Gahutu, Email : jbgahutu@yahoo.com, phone : 0783340040


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