Modifying a Study

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. You can learn about modifying Data Sources here, and modifying surveys is described here.

You can review and modify the configuration of your study by navigating to the Design -> Basics page, as shown in the following image:

Modifying a Study in Ethica's Design / Basics Page

This page also includes the information needed for participant enrollment. you can read more about enrollment here.

To modify the configuration of your study, click on the Edit button on the top right corner of the screen.

While in the Edit mode, you can modify different settings of the study. Majority of the options you see here are the same as the ones described in the Create a New Study section. This includes Name, Consent Materials, Institution Name, study's background image, automatic data upload reminder, and default data upload settings.

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.

Enrollment Type

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.

Modifying Study Enrollment Type

Timeline

You can change the study timeline by modifying the Study Period and Participation Duration values. 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 the future. For currently enrolled participants, you need to update their devices as explained below.

Updating Current Participants

When a participant joins a study, Ethica downloads the study settings on their device, so it can operate while offline as well. As you make any changes to the study settings, you are effectively 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:

  1. From the left panel select the name of the study you plan to modify, then select Participation, and then select Adherence.
  2. Here you will see a list of all currently enrolled participants.
  3. Click on the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the table header.
  4. From the menu, select Update all devices.

Updating Participant's Devices with New Study Changes

Alternatively, you can choose this option for a given participant to update the study settings only on that individual's device, instead of on all currently active study participants.

After selecting the Update Device, Ethica tries to contact the participant's device and update their study settings, even when the Ethica app is closed and not running. Note that the automatic update can be done immediately or can take some time, depending on some factors including the participant's Internet connectivity status. Regardless, if the participant opens the app after your study update request, their settings will be updated immediately.

Alternatively, participants can also manually reload their study settings through the app. In order to do this, they need to open the Ethica app on their smartphone, go to Settings, and select Update Studies option, as shown in the image below:

Updating Study Settings via Participant's Mobile App in Android Updating Study Settings via Participant's Mobile App in iOS
Android iPhone

Modifying Individual Participation Durations

When a given participant joins your study, Ethica app calculates their study participation period based on three factors:

  1. Study Period
  2. Participation Duration
  3. The date the participant joined the study (i.e. current time)

This period can be different for each participant and will be stored separately for each of them. You can see these times in the Participation -> Adherence page as shown below:

View Participant Period for Each Participant

If you modify the study period or participation duration of a study, the changes will be applied only to participants who will join your study in the future, but any start and end time set for the currently enrolled participants will not be changed. If you want to modify the dates for a currently enrolled participant, should do it separately for each of them, as described below.

  1. Navigate to the Participation -> Adherence page.
  2. Find the Ethica ID of the participant whom you wish to change their study participation dates.
  3. Click on the three-dot menu on the right corner of their row in the table.
  4. From the menu, select Modify Participation Period:

Modify Participation Period Menu Option

  1. Select a new start and end date from the dialog:

Modify Participation Period Dialog

Access Permissions

By default, you are the only person who has administrative access to your study. You can grant this access to other researchers registered in Ethica, or revoke their access, in the Design -> Basics page. In order to do so:

  1. In the Edit mode, scroll down to Access Permissions section at the bottom of the page.

List of Study's Access Permissions

  1. Click on Add New Member.
  2. In the Add a 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.

Ethica Study Access Permissions - Add

  1. Click on the 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:

Ethica Study Access Permission - Remove