Services provided on this website, titled “BETTER”, are provided by Swinburne University of Technology ("Swinburne"), through the National eTherapy Centre (NeTC).
2.1 Website Contents
The BETTER website consists of two different types of self-help online resources designed to assist in improving your quality of life. The resources consist of videos of real people sharing their experiences, exercises, tools, images and audio. Additionally, you can comment on any of the content or discuss topics of interest in the forums.
BETTER is provided free of charge. You will have access to the website for 3 months.
2.2 Personal Online Coach
During the first five weeks of access to the BETTER website, you will also have access to a personal online coach. Coaches are people who have completed training to be a personal online coach, who are expert in the content of BETTER, and who have at least some training in psychology and knowledge of bipolar disorder. Coaches will be working under the supervision of experts in the psychological management of bipolar disorder.
2.3 Limitations of Services
Whilst there are benefits to mental health services being available online, it is also acknowledged that there are limitations to the services provided on the BETTER website. The services available on the BETTER website are not intended to replace medication or traditional forms of face-to-face psychotherapy. Therefore, if at any time you believe that the BETTER website services do not meet or address your needs, or give rise to other concerns about your health, you are advised to seek the services of an appropriate health care professional.
The services on the BETTER website will not be appropriate if:
• you are in a crisis situation;
• your personal safety is an issue;
• you require specialist medical treatment.
In all of these cases, you should seek the services of an appropriate health care professional immediately.
2.4 Services Provided in Australia
The services on the BETTER website are provided in accordance with Australian laws and health practice standards. You acknowledge and accept that the services may not comply with the laws and standards that apply in the jurisdiction in which you receive the services.
2.5 International Use
You agree to comply with all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the country the Forums/Services are hosted from or the country in which you reside (if different) and with all local laws and rules regarding acceptable use of and conduct on the Internet.
The BETTER website forms the central component of a research project aiming to help people with bipolar disorder to improve their quality of life. Research conducted around this website includes comparing users' quality of life and other experiences and symptoms prior to, throughout, and after having accessed the BETTER website, and (2) comparing the effectiveness of two different online resources as reflected in change to users' quality of life and other various experiences and symptoms.
3.1 How we collect, store and use your information
The BETTER website will be accessible via your username and password. The website will allow you to record information relating to your own wellness in order to personalise your experience of the website. For example, you might record details of your personal values, or chart your mood and sleep. The website database will also record data on how often you logged on, and what proportion of materials you viewed. In order to produce a system suited to eventual dissemination, it will be necessary for the website database to record your name, email address (for recovery of username and password if forgotten), some medical details (so your online coach is better able to provide tailored information), and your doctors contact details. It will also allow for optional recording of details for person to contact if we are unable to contact you. Given that these personally identifying details will be recorded, measures to ensure security are as follows:
- Security of the website design will be overseen by the National eTherapy Centre (including its Executive and IT Management committees) in conjunction with Swinburne University Information Technology Project Management Office to ensure design is in accordance with best practice principles of web security and the Australian Privacy Principles (2014).
- Access to the participant's profile will be password protected.
- The degree of personally identifying data will be minimised, and the participant will be given the option of setting up a username under a pseudonym.
- All personally identifying data will be encrypted.
4 Modification or Discontinuance
Swinburne exclusively reserves the right to, and may at any time and without notice and any liability to you, modify or discontinue this website and its services or delete the data you provide, whether temporarily or permanently. Swinburne has no responsibility or liability for the timeliness, deletion, failure to store, inaccuracy, or improper delivery of any data or information.
5 Security and Confidentiality
NeTC does its best to protect the BETTER website from security breaches by employing banking industry security features. NeTC has a security certificate, which means it complies with the security requirements of the certification authority. However, the provision of services through this website is subject to security risks inherent in any internet service. Whilst NeTC endeavours to ensure that your personal information is secure, it is not possible to safeguard against all possible breaches of security. You are advised to ensure that the computer terminal from which you send email and messages is secure.
5.2 Privacy and Confidentiality
When people use the Internet, sites often encourage people to make public comments about what they have read. The website we have developed includes the ability to make public comments. Making comments can be useful in connecting with others, but if you do so it is important to be aware that anyone might be able to see what you have posted, so you will need to be careful not to post anything you would be uncomfortable about people seeing. You do not have to post any comments to take part in this trial, and if you do post comments you can do so using an alias rather than your real name. The researchers take no responsibility for information you may post online, and the researchers cannot give any assurance about who may, or may not see information you have posted. In addition, the researchers cannot guarantee the identity of any individual making posts in any of the online forums or that any information posted is correct. Any concerns about information posted online should be raised with the researchers.
Also be aware that the researchers are unable to fully control what you might see on the Internet. Most websites, including the one we have developed, allow other users to notify the owners of the website when content is offensive, so it can be removed quickly. However, it is still possible that you may see a discussion forum or comment which has offensive content, or accidently visit a website containing other content which offends you.
The information that we collect from you as part of this research project, including audio recordings of phone assessments, will be stored securely in the National eTherapy Centre (NeTC) at Swinburne University of Technology for a minimum period of seven years. Confidential information you provide during the assessments will be stored completely separately and there would be no way of this being accessed via this website. The website will be maintained with best practice security standards.
We expect that the findings from this project will be presented in scientific journals and at scientific conferences. Some data from this project may also be used for the purposes of a PhD thesis. In any publication, information will be provided in such a way that you cannot be identified, except with your permission.
Information about your participation in this research project may be recorded in your health records, as your treating doctor will be notified of your involvement in the project.
In accordance with relevant Australian and/or Victorian privacy and other relevant laws, you have the right to access the information collected and stored by the researchers about you. You also have the right to request that any information, with which you disagree, be corrected. Please contact the researcher named at the end of this document if you would like to access your information.
5.3 Limits to Confidentiality
The NeTC reserves the right to report to relevant authorities, such as the police or child protection authorities, situations where a client or associate of a client is judged to be at risk of self-harm, or of harming others, particularly if the risk is to a person under 17 years of age.
5.4 Communication of Information to Others
5.4.1 Professional Purposes
Where information is used for professional purposes, it may only be communicated to persons legitimately concerned with your case within the NeTC. Confidential information will only be disclosed in these circumstances where:
• your identity is concealed;
• your consent to the disclosure is obtained;
• the recipient of the information has been given prior notice of their privacy obligations in relation to the information; and,
• the recipient of the information has given an undertaking not to disclose the information to others.
Where information is used for the purposes of research and publication, strict adherence will be had to the Policy on the Conduct of Research. If used for research and publication purposes, your information will be analysed in a de-identifiable form and dissemination of the results will not contain material capable of identifying you.
Technical difficulties should be reported to Swinburne. These difficulties will be negotiated with you to ensure a fair outcome. Any feedback or comments regarding the BETTER website should be directed to email@example.com.
6 Your Responsibilities
Access and use of the BETTER website is only permitted to persons 18 years or older. You are required to confirm during registration that you are 18 years or older.
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and shall be responsible for all uses via your registration and/or login, whether authorised or unauthorised by you. You agree to immediately notify us of any unauthorised use of your registration, user account or password.
6.4 Confidentiality of Your Data
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any data you download onto your computer.
Any information obtained in connection with this website that can identify you will remain confidential. It will only be disclosed with your permission, except as required or authorised by law.
6.5 Your Conduct
When using the BETTER website, you have responsibility for utilising the website to your best benefit.
You should also be aware that if you post material which others find offensive, you will receive a warning, and if this happens again your ability to post further comments or messages may be discontinued by the researchers.
7 Investigation by the NeTC
8 Copyright and Intellectual Property
Material contained on the BETTER website is copyright © Swinburne University of Technology (except where otherwise indicated) or is used with permission or under licence. You may download, print and reproduce this information in an unaltered form for your own personal use. All other rights are reserved. Requests for further permission to use this material should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org