Spirituality and Play

- PhD Research Study -

Dear sir/madam,

I am a graduate student at the University of Ottawa in the School of Human Kinetics. I am conducting research on the relationships between spirituality and play within the context of sports, games, music, dance and the arts. I am inviting you to participate because you may share these interests.

Participation in this research includes taking part a web-based survey that should take you approximately 15-25 minutes to complete. By completing and returning this survey, you will also indicate your consent to participate in the study. You can withdraw from the study at any time. Paper-based surveys are also available for those without access to the Internet.

Further, if you have colleagues or know people within or outside your respective community who may also be interested in this study, please distribute this invitation accordingly.

If you would like to participate in this study, please read the consent form below.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in the research, I can be reached at carl.nienhuis@uottawa.ca.


Carl Nienhuis

Université d’Ottawa

Faculté des sciences

de la santé

École des sciences de l’activité physique

University of Ottawa

Faculty of Health Sciences

School of Human Kinetics

É+1 613 562 5800

Ê+1 613 562-5149

125 Université/University (222)

Ottawa ON K1N 6N5 Canada


Consent Form for Study Participants

Title of Study: Examining the Relationship between Spirituality and Play.

Principle Researcher: Carl Nienhuis, MHK

School of Human Kinetics

Faculty of Health Sciences

University of Ottawa

125 University Private, Ottawa, Canada


Supervisor: Dr. Paul Heintzman

Associate Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences

University of Ottawa

25 University Private, Ottawa, Canada

(613) 562-5800 ext. 4251


Invitation to Participate: You are invited to participate in a study that investigates the spiritual features of play. The research is part of the researcher’s (Carl Nienhuis) Ph.D. thesis at the University of Ottawa and is under the supervision of Dr. Paul Heintzman.

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between spirituality and play.

Participation: If you wish to participate in this study, please complete the attached survey, or complete the online version available through Lime Survey. By completing and returning this survey, you will also indicate your consent to participate in the study. The survey should take you approximately 15-25 minutes to complete. You can withdraw from the study at any time. Once you have completed the survey, please return it to the researcher. No compensation will be provided for your participation.

Benefits: Thanks to your feedback, we will gain a better understanding of the relationship between spirituality and play. Your feedback will help in understanding why people play, what makes play significant and will help identify specific qualities inherent to play. Reflecting on your own playful experiences may also help you gain better knowledge and appreciation for the role that play has in your life.

Risks: Your participation in this study will consist of you answering questions concerning your experiences and opinions on play and spirituality. A risk of emotional discomfort does exist as you will be asked to reflect on emotional experiences in your life. You will also be asked about your personal spirituality. In the event that you do feel emotional discomfort, sensitive questions will be skipped and you will not have to answer them. In order to avoid any long-term discomfort, the researcher will have the contact information of local mental health clinics available to participants so that they make seek free counselling. Additionally, you may withdraw from the survey at any time.

Confidentiality and Anonymity: The information that you share will remain strictly confidential and will be used solely for the purposes of this research. The only people that will have access to the research data are the researcher, Carl Nienhuis, and the supervisor, Dr. Paul Heintzman. Results will be published in pooled (aggregate) format, which means that only overviews of the data, and non individual surveys, will be published. Anonymity is guaranteed since you are not being asked to provide your name or any personal contact information. In order to minimize the risk of security breaches and to help ensure your confidentiality we recommend that you use standard safety measures such as signing out of your account, closing your browser and locking your screen or device when you are no longer using them / when you have completed the study.

Data storage: The surveys will be kept on a password-protected computer and/or in a locked filing cabinet in the office of the researcher for a period of five years at which time they will be destroyed.

Voluntary Participation: Although your participation in this study is encouraged, it remains totally voluntary. You are under no obligation to participate and if you choose to participate, you may refuse to answer questions that you do not want to answer. You can withdraw from the survey at any time before you submit your questionnaire. Completion and return of the questionnaire by you implies consent. Due to the absence of contact information and identifiers on the questionnaire, once you submit your completed copy, there is no way of withdrawing from the study.

Information about Results: The research findings can be made available to you if you wish. If you are interested, please contact the researcher at the email or phone numbers mentioned above and the researcher will send you a copy of the results.

If you have any questions or require more information about the study itself, you may contact the researchers at the numbers mentioned above.

If you have any questions with regards to the ethical conduct of this study, you may contact the Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research, University of Ottawa, Tabaret Hall, 550 Cumberland Street, Room 154, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, tel.: (613) 562-5387 or ethics@uottawa.ca.

Please print this letter for your records. Thank you for your time and consideration.

If you agree to participate, please follow this link to complete the online survey: