Ethica allows you to adjust and modify any part of the study at any time, even while it’s in progress. This can be very valuable to ensure the study can evolve as your needs or understanding evolves. In this section, we describe how to modify the study's timeline and basic settings, together with updating current participants, and access permissions. Modifying Data Sources and Surveys are described in other articles.
To review or modify the design of your study:
- From the left panel, open Projects list.
- From Projects, extend the study you plan to modify by clicking on its study name.
- From the options appearing for the study, select Design
- From the options appearing for Design, select Basics
This will show you an overview of the study definition. The screenshot below shows the definition of a given study:
The Basics section also includes the information needed for participant registration. you can read more about participation registration and enrollment here.
To start modifying the study, click on the Edit button on the top right corner of the screen.
While in Edit mode, you can modify different parts of the study. Majority of the options you see here are the same as the ones you provided in the Create New Study section. This includes Name, Consent Materials, Institution Name, study's background image, and whether or not participants are allowed to drop out of the study through the app.
You also can change the Target Sample Size of the study. Keep in mind that setting the sample size to 0 means you are unsure about the number of participants you plan to enroll, and it instructs Ethica to discard this value.
One of the options in the Edit mode is the study's Enrollment Type. Here, you can set the Enrollment Type to Public, Invitation-based, or Closed. You can read more about this in the Enrollment section.
You can change the study timeline by modifying Study Duration and Participation Period. Note that if the study is already started, you will not be able to edit the start date section of the Study Period, though you always can edit the end date of the study. This allows you to extend the study at any time.
Keep in mind any changes applied here to the study timeline does not affect the currently enrolled participants. These changes will be applied to any participants joining the study in future. For currently enrolled participants, you need to update their devices as explained below.
Updating Current Participants
When a participant joins a study, Ethica app downloads the study settings on their device, so it can operate while offline as well. As you make any changes to the study, you are invalidating the version of the study which the participant's device is using. Of course, this is not an issue if no participant has enrolled in the study just yet. Though if the study currently has participants, you need to update their devices with the new changes.
In order to do that:
- From the left panel select the name of the study you plan to modify, then select Participation, and then select Adherence.
- Here you will see a list of all currently enrolled participants
- For each participant, click on the menu at the end of their row.
- From the menu, select Update Device.
After selecting Update Device, Ethica tries to contact the participant's device and update their study settings. This can be done immediately or can take weeks, depending on the participant's Internet connectivity status. Ethica tries to reach participants for 4 weeks and if unsuccessful, it discards the request.
Participants can also manually refresh their list of studies through the app. In order to do this, they need to open Ethica app on their smartphone, go to Settings, and select Update Studies option, as shown in the image below:
An important decision for any research study is who has access to the study settings and collected data. By default, you are the only person who has access to all the studies you have created. You can invite others to join your studies (or be invited by others to join their study). In order to do so:
- In the Edit mode, scroll down to Access Permissions section at the bottom of the page.
- Click on Add new member.
- In the Add new member dialog, enter the email address of the person you want to invite to join the study.
Note that the person you are trying to add to the study should already be registered in Ethica as a Researcher.
- Click on Add to add the new team member.
If you want to remove a person from the team, simply click on the trash icon next to their name. This will ask for your confirmation before removing the selected person's access permissions.