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Participant Information

We are recruiting veterans of the UK Armed Forces to participate in a survey identify risk-factors that predict problem gambling in veterans and highlight how they interact with features of military-service (e.g., exposure to trauma, stress-coping, service living arrangements). Before you decide whether or not to participate, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. 

What is the purpose of the research?

The research takes the form of a survey and is intended to gather information to better understand the pathways to, and predictors of, gambling related harm among UK military veterans.

The survey also seeks to understand whether or not there are factors unique to military service or general physical and mental health that may influence whether veterans go on to develop a gambling problem. 

The survey, therefore, collects information on gambling behaviour, physical and mental health, and demographic information using standardised questionnaires. The survey is available either online or in paper-format. 

Who can take part in the research?

You can take part if you are a UK Armed Forces veteran (i.e., “ex-service personnel”, “ex-military” or “ex-Forces”).

We hope to recruit almost a thousand people to take part in the study and we would be very grateful if you would be kind enough to help by completing the survey.  

Who is carrying out the research?

The survey (Veterans HABIT Study) is being conducted by researchers from the School of Psychology, Swansea University and the Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University.

The funding was awarded to AnonyMind, Professor Simon Dymond of the School of Psychology, Swansea University and Professor Matt Fossey from the Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University. 

Who has reviewed this research?

This research has undergone review and was approved by the Swansea University, School of Psychology Ethics Committee.

What happens if I agree to take part? 

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form stating that you agree to complete the survey.

The survey consists of several questionnaires designed to measure some aspects of your personal experiences of gambling, physical and mental health, and some demographic information. You will also be asked some questions about your military service.    

How long does it take?

The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. You may take breaks during the survey and/or save your progress and return at a later date.

Is participation voluntary and what if I wish to later withdraw?

Your participation is entirely voluntary– you do not have to participate if you do not want to.  

If you decide to participate, but wish to withdraw your information, you may do so at any time during the completion of the survey by either selecting the 'I wish to withdraw from the survey' box at the end of the survey or emailing the Chief Investigator on the address given below.    

What will happen to the information I provide?

All the responses provided will be confidential to the study. You will only be identified via a participation number, and never by name. An analysis of the information will form part of our report for the funder at the end of the study. Results of the study may be summarized in presentations to interested parties and published in scientific journals and related media. Please note that information presented in any reports or publications will be anonymous.

Information you have provided may be accessed by authorised individuals from the sponsors (Swansea University and Anglia Ruskin University), regulatory authorities (where applicable) or host NHS sites, for monitoring and audit purposes. Anonymised data will also be available to other researchers/academics upon request, at the end of the study in line with Open Science requirements.

Any potentially adverse or extreme questionnaire scores will be monitored by the research team regarding a course of appropriate action. Participants who have given their consent to be contacted in such situations will be referred to an appropriate a clinician who may contact them for further assessment and clinical interview.

Are there future research opportunities?

You will be given the option to provide your email address to be contacted about future research opportunities. You will be free to decline if you do not want to take part in these other research opportunities – just as you are free to withdraw from this study at any time.

What are the potential benefits to taking part?

There will be no immediate, direct benefits to taking part in the survey. However, we aim for this research to inform future veteran focused treatment and policy surrounding gambling and associated health implications.

What are the potential disadvantages to taking part?

Some people may find parts of the survey upsetting because they involve some questions about debt, relationships, gambling, anxiety, depression and trauma. Other questions ask you to remember experiences that you may also find upsetting.

If you feel upset at any stage while completing the survey, you can:
•    take a break for however long you wish;
•    decide to leave and return at a later date to finish the survey;
•    ask for sources of help and support from the research team;
•    or decide to leave and withdraw from the survey. 

You can take as long as you need to complete the survey and will not be penalized for this.

What if I have other questions?

Please contact the research team on:  

To make an anonymous complaint or comment about this survey, please do not hesitate to contact the impartial contact point: Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Community Health Council, First Floor, Cimla Hospital, Neath, SA11 3SU.  Tel: 01639 683490

Data Protection Privacy Notice

The data controller for this project will be Swansea University. The University Data Protection Officer provides oversight of university activities involving the processing of personal data and can be contacted at the Vice Chancellor’s Office: Swansea University’s Data Protection Officer is Bev Buckley ( 

Your personal data will be processed for the purposes outlined in this information sheet. Standard ethical procedures will involve you providing your consent to participate in this study by completing the consent form that has been provided to you. However, the legal basis on which this task is being performed is public interest, approved by the departmental Research Ethics Committee. If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, please contact Swansea University’s Data Protection Officer at

Details of your individual rights are available on the ICO website at:

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