1. What is the study about?

You are invited to participate in this research project which is investigating perceptual changes in people with shoulder pain compared to people without. We know from previous research that some people with longstanding hand or arm pain have difficulty recognising the laterality (left from right) of a picture of their affected hand (perception difficulties).

The aim of this study is to establish whether the same effects are seen in people with shoulder problems. This could lead us to better understand shoulder pain and in turn help us to develop more effective treatment strategies.

To do this we will investigate the accuracy and response time for the left/right judgement task of the shoulder in a normal healthy population and compare the results to those with shoulder pain.

2. Who is carrying out the study?

The study is being conducted by John Breckenridge and will form the basis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Associate Professor Karen Ginn, School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sydney, and Dr James McAuley, Senior Research Officer at Neuroscience Research Australia. Dr David Butler, Neuro Orthopaedic Institute in Adelaide, and Halton Stewart are responsible for software research and development. We have come together to conduct a research project about shoulder laterality.

3. What does the study involve?

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete a simple online questionnaire/test that involves answering a few short questions followed by looking at images on a computer screen and distinguishing whether they are left or right images. You will be able to complete the test from a computer of your choice with internet access.

This test should not cause you any discomfort and to our knowledge there are no risks.

This study is carried out online and you will be guided through a five step process. Initially you will be required to consent to participating in the study as well as consenting to the terms and conditions of the website. Next we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire about yourself including questions about your shoulder and your physical activity. Finally, you will be asked to respond to a series of photographs by indicating whether the image you are looking at is a left or right shoulder/arm/ hand/foot.

4. How much time will the study take?

This test will take approximately 15-25 minutes.

5. Can I withdraw from the study?

Yes. Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary. You are not under any obligation to consent and - if you do consent - you can withdraw at any time without affecting your relationship with The University of Sydney or researchers. If you are currently undergoing treatment for a shoulder condition, refusal to participate will not influence your management in any way. Whatever your decision, it will not affect your treatment or your relationship with researchers or physiotherapy staff. You can withdraw from the study at any stage by just clicking the “exit program” link at the bottom of any of the web pages. However, once the study survey is completed, as it is anonymous, your data cannot be withdrawn.

6. Will anyone else know the results?

All aspects of the project, including results will be strictly confidential and only researchers involved with the study will have access to your information. Your identity will remain anonymous in data storage systems and in any presentation or publications produced. A report of the study may be submitted for publication, but individual participants will not be identifiable in such a report.

7. Will the study benefit me?

While this research will increase knowledge of shoulder pain conditions and may improve treatment of this condition in the future, we cannot and do not guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from the study.

8. Can I tell other people about the study?

Yes

9. What if I require further information about the study or my involvement in it?

If you would like to know more about this research or have any questions regarding this study please feel free to contact the following researchers:

10. What if I have a complaint or any concerns?

Any person with concerns or complaints about the conduct of a research study can contact: The Manager, Human Ethics Administration, University of Sydney on +61 2 8627 8176 (telephone); +61 2 8627 8177 (facsimile) or ro.humanethics@sydney.edu.au (email)

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