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Resilience in Animal Care Professions

Private Bag 30

Tasmania 7001 Australia
Phone: (03) 6226 2922
Email: Crystal.Meehan@utas.edu.au


Resilience in Animal Care Professions: Does the Stress Shield Model Fit?

Information Sheet for Participants

1. Invitation

You are invited to participate in a research study examining the resilience of persons working in animal care professions. This study is being conducted as part of an Honours degree in Psychology by Nicole Cushing, under the supervision of Dr Crystal Meehan and Associate Professor Kimberley Norris within the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Tasmania.

2. What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study is to investigate the individual, workplace, and organisational elements predicting resilience in animal care professions. The outcomes from this study are anticipated to increase understandings of the individual and workplace factors that foster psychological wellbeing and resilience within animal care professionals. This study may also inform future workplace practices and interventions to support these individuals.

3. Why have I been invited to participate?

You are eligible to participate in this study because you are over 18 years of age, currently reside in Australia or New Zealand and work (paid or voluntary) in an animal care profession. This includes veterinarians, veterinary nurses/technicians, animal attendants/kennel hands, wildlife rescue and carers, zookeepers, and laboratory animal technicians.

Participation in this study is voluntary. There will be no consequences if you decide not to participate.

4. What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to complete an online survey investigating individual traits, coping styles, workplace cohesiveness, job demands and resources, job satisfaction, personal growth, and resilience. The survey will also ask some general demographic questions about yourself and your occupation. It is estimated to take between 45-60 minutes. You will be requested to provide participation consent prior to commencing the survey. Your submission of the survey will imply consent.

Following the completion of the survey, you will be invited to enter the draw to receive one of six gift cards valued at AUD $50 for Australian participants or NZD $50 for New Zealand participants. Please follow the link at the end of the survey to enter your details if you wish to enter this prize draw.

5. Are there any possible benefits from participation in this study?

This study will ask that you reflect on your experiences as an animal care professional. Such reflection provides an opportunity for you to gain insight into your own wellbeing, coping strategies and processes. Upon completion of the study, you will also have the opportunity to go into the draw to receive one of six gift vouchers. Australian participants will have the opportunity to go into the draw to receive an AUD $50 gift voucher which is redeemable at a number of participating retailers (Coles, Myer, and more). New Zealand participants will have the opportunity to go into the draw to receive an NZD $50 gift voucher which is redeemable at a number of participating retailers (Farmers, Mitre 10, and more).

6. Are there any possible risks from participation in this study?

The survey will include questions regarding your past experiences while performing duties within the animal care workplace. We acknowledge some events in the workplace can be negative and recalling of such experiences may cause discomfort or distress. If at any time you experience discomfort while completing the survey, please remember your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time before submission of the survey, simply by closing the browser window.

Should you experience discomfort or distress, please contact any of the following resources:

  • A Mental Health Professional or local General Practitioner (GP). If you do not have access to a Mental Health Professional, a GP will be able to assist in referring you to one.
  • Please also feel free to contact the Chief Investigator, Dr Crystal Meehan, via the contact information below.

Resources in Australia:

  • Lifeline Australia are available for crisis support 24/7 via telephone on 13 11 14. They can also be reached 7 days a week via an online chat on their website between 7pm and midnight at www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat. They can also be contacted via text on 0477 13 11 14 from 6pm to midnight, 7 days a week.
  • Beyond Blue are available for support and advice 24/7 via telephone on 1300 224 636. They also have a chat service available online from 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support.

Resources in New Zealand:

  • Lifeline Aotearoa are available for crisis support 24/7 via telephone on 0800 54 33 54. They can also be reached 24/7 via text on 4357.
  • Samaritans Aotearoa/New Zealand are available 24/7 via telephone on 0800 72 66 66.
  • Additional and specific resources can also be found online via the Mental Health Foundation website at https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/in-crisis/helplines/.

7. What if I change my mind during or after the study?

You are free to withdraw from this study at any time without consequence or explanation. If you wish to cease participation, exit the survey by closing the browser window before submitting your responses and your data will not be collected.

Please note, once you have submitted the survey your responses cannot be withdrawn. Due to the de-identification of your data, it will not be possible to identify your data for removal.

8. What will happen to the information when this study is over?

The data collected form this study will be de-identified and held securely in the University of Tasmania on password-protected cloud storage. Only researchers involved with this study will have access to the data. Your confidentiality and anonymity will be maintained should data from this study be used in future research.

9. How will the results of the study be published?

Findings from this study will be published in an academic journal and included in the student’s thesis as part of an Honours degree in Psychology. A summary of results will be provided to your organisation via email and social media where the study was originally advertised. No personally identifiable information will be included in the results. As data will be de-identified, individual feedback will not be possible. If you would like to receive a copy of results directly or discuss the results in further detail, please contact the Chief Investigator via email (Crystal.Meehan@utas.edu.au).

10. What if I have questions about this study?

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this study further, please feel free to contact the following:

This study has been approved by the Tasmanian Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have concerns or complaints about the conduct of this study, please contact the Executive Officer of the HREC (Tasmania) Network on +61 3 6226 6254 or email ss.ethics@utas.edu.au. The Executive Officer is the person nominated to receive complaints from research participants. Please quote ethics reference number 20430.


This is an anonymous survey. Your completion and submission of the survey will imply consent.

Thank you for your participation in this study.

This survey is anonymous.

The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it.

If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.