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Name of Project: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Psychological characteristics


You are invited to participate in a study of Bowel Symptoms and Stress.  The purpose of the study is to examine how psychological factors such as emotions, personality traits, and beliefs influence long term Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  We are also interested in examining the impact of these problems on sufferers’ well-being.  This study will help us understand how psychological interventions can be used to help people who suffer from constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.


The study is being conducted by Wee-Chong, Tan ( Phone  0420851485),  Dr Andrew Baillie (, 9850 9436) and Associate Professor Michael Jones (, 9850 8601) of the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University.  This study is being conducted to meet the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) under the supervision of Dr Baillie & A/Prof Jones.


Who can Participate

If your are:

o  18 years old and above, and


If you feel you have some of these problems:

o Constipation or Diarrhea more than usual

o Pain in your tummy/ abdomen

o A feeling of bloating in your tummy/ abdomen

o Feeling the urge to go to the bathroom more than usual


On a regular basis, you are eligible to participate in this study.


If you decide to participate, you will be asked to to take 30 - 45 minutes of your time to complete a booklet of questionnaires assessing various aspects of your personal experience.  This is a once off session.


Participation in this study is entirely voluntary: you are not obliged to participate and if you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without having to give a reason and without consequence. 

To the best of our knowledge and from examining the research done in this area, no participants have reported adverse effects by completing these questionnaires.  As part of my gratitude for your participation and your time, upon completion of the online survey, you will automatically be routed to a lucky draw link where you stand a chance of winning a $60 book voucher. You will also be able to download some helpful material to help you manage your bowel problems.

Any information or personal details gathered in the course of the study are confidential (except as required by law).  No individual will be identified in any publication of the results.


This is only an online survey and is NOT in any way a substitute for proper medical consultation and treatment!  Your response to this survey cannot be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes.



 1) You feel that your bowel symptoms are severe (e.g., having sharp abdominal pain constantly, blood in your stool, very frequent diarrhea or constipation, severe and frequent vomiting/ nausea, severe gastric reflux),

2) Your bowel symptoms are significantly interfering in your life and wellbeing,

3) You are concerned that your bowel symptoms might be a sign of more serious medical problems, and/or

4) You have some of the bowel symptoms listed above (i.e. diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating) for a period of time (i.e. 3 months or more)


You are very strongly encouraged to consult your general practitioner and to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.  Gastroenterologists are medical practitioners with expertise in diagnosis and treating bowel problems.  They will be able to conduct thorough and careful medical tests for you and recommend the best course of treatment.  This is to ensure that your health and wellbeing are optimally taken care of.


If you feel that you need to obtain a recommendation to specialist gastrointestinal or mental health treatment in support of your Bowel Problems, you can choose to contact us and we can assist in recommendations.  Please note that by exercising this option, you will no longer remain anonymous to us.  We therefore urge you to make full use of the list of resources we provide below, and to seek a referral to these specialists via your GP before considering this option.  Nonetheless, in line with our code of conduct as professional and provisionally registered psychologists, we will be glad to assist in the recommendations process and keep the information you provide us in strict confidence.  This is a three step process we recommend you take:


Step 1. Make use of the contact details provided in the list provided to seek professional consultation for GI problems or mental issues

Step 2. You are strongly encouraged to seek out your GP or family practitioner to obtain referrals for these specialist services

Step 3. You are given an option to provide their minimal personal and contact details (Name and contact information ONLY) to the researchers, who will then facilitate the referral process to these specialists.  Please only take this step only if you feel you need more help, AFTER taking steps 1 and 2.


This information and data collected would only be accessible by the researcher and his supervisors (Mr Wee-Chong, Tan, Dr Andrew Baillie and Associate Professor Michael Jones).  A summary of the results of the study will be available at .  Should you be interested, please do not hesitate to contact the researcher at 0420851485.


The ethical aspects of this study have been approved by the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee.  If you have any complaints or reservations about any ethical aspect of your participation in this research, you may contact the Committee through the Director, Research Ethics (telephone (02) 9850 7854; email  Any complaint you make will be treated in confidence and investigated, and you will be informed of the outcome.


I have read and understood the information provided above.

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