Information for participants

Title of Project:  An exploration of smartphone dating app use by people seeking same-gender partners; a cross-cultural comparison of the USA and UK.

Hannah Madden – PhD Candidate, Public Health Department, Southern Connecticut State University (USA) & Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University (UK)

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Please read this information and take time to decide if you want to take part or not. If you have any questions, you can message the researcher via the Facebook page ( or email: There is no payment for taking part in this survey.


1. What is the purpose of the study? This study is part of a PhD research degree. The study aims to understand how people use smartphone dating apps (e.g. Tinder, Grindr, Jack’d, Her etc.) to find same-gender partners, relationships and friendships. We are comparing the USA and the UK and want to understand how people view any benefits or risks of these apps.  This stage of the research is an online survey. The information you provide will not be used for any marketing purposes.

We are inviting people in Connecticut (USA) and Merseyside (UK) who have used a smart-phone dating app in the last 12 months to find a sexual partner, friendship or relationship with someone of the same gender. If you live outside these areas or you do not use dating apps to meet same gender partners, you are not eligible for this study.


2. Do I have to take part?  No, you decide whether you want to take part. If you do want to take part, you will be asked to click NEXT at the bottom of this page. You can stop the survey at any time; we will delete incomplete surveys from the analysis. However, after you finish the survey we would not be able to remove you from the analysis, as we do not ask for any information we could use to find your responses in the full data. Most of the questions allow you to tick a “prefer not to say” option.


3. What will happen to me if I take part? If you decide to take part, you will be taken to an anonymous questionnaire hosted by the Bristol Online Survey tool.  The questionnaire asks some basic questions about you, how “out” you are, and how and why you use apps. We also ask some questions about sexual relationships and what you see as the benefits or risks of the apps.  Some of the questions are personal or about your sexual behaviour, but you are free to skip these questions.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and can be done on a smartphone, tablet or computer. 

This is the first part of a bigger project and the researcher is planning to do interviews to explore the issues further. These are likely to happen towards the end of 2018 either online or face-to-face in Connecticut and Merseyside.  If you would like to receive more information about these interviews there is a space at the end of the survey for your email address to get more information. Your email address will not be linked to your answers.


4. Are there any risks / benefits to being involved? The information we gather will be used to improve health promotion and may help services for people who have same-gender partners. It will not be used for any marketing purposes. There is no payment for taking part in our online survey.

Some of the questions are quite personal and ask about sexual behaviour - you may want to think where you are when you complete the survey.  There are links to organisations that can provide information and support below. This information will be provided again at the end of the survey and on the Facebook page.


5. Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential? All the survey answers you give us will be anonymous and confidential.  The survey contains no questions that we could use to identify you and you will not be asked for your name or address. After the survey is complete, you have the option to go to another page to enter your email address for us to contact you. If you do provide an email address we cannot link this to any of your answers as it is held in a separate database and it will only be used for contacting you about this research. Only the lead researcher will have access to your email address. 


This participant information sheet is available on our Facebook page and you can also download a copy to keep here:

This study has received ethical approval from LJMU’s Research Ethics Committee: Approval reference 17/PHI/001, 3rd Oct 2017. 

This study has alsoreceived IRB approval from Southern Connecticut State University (IRB number: 18-146)


Contact Details of Researcher:    

Hannah Madden, PhD Student, Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Building, 15-21 Webster Street, Liverpool, L3 2ET. UK. t: (+44) 0151 231 4088 e: 

Contact Details of Academic Supervisors:

USA: Dr Jean Breny, Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, Orlando House, 144 Farnham Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515, USA. t: (+1) 203-392-7008 e:

UK: Dr Lorna Porcellato, Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Building, 15-21 Webster Street, Liverpool, L3 2ET, UK. t: (+44) 0151 231 4201 e:


Further support and information

If you want any more information or support for your physical, sexual or mental health you can contact these organisations:


CDC LGBT health webpage:

Fenway Health:


NHS Choices LGBT health webpage

Armistead Project (Liverpool)



I have read the information provided above and I am happy to participate. I understand that by completing this questionnaire I am consenting to be part of this research study and for my data to be used as described above.