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What is the study about?

We are conducting a research study which will explore how people’s career choices affect their health and wellbeing later on in life. The study will include military veterans and non-veterans and we hope to interview a close companion of each participant to provide their views on the same topic. If we can identify the potential effects of occupation later in life, then in the future, employers will be able to potentially adapt working practices to take account of how people fare when they are aged over 65 years of age. We aim to see if military service may have a different impact on health and wellbeing in later life or not.


Why am I being asked to take part?

We are inviting those who are over the age of 65 and either served in the UK armed forces (for longer than 5 years) or served in a non-military profession for longer than 5 years. Individuals with less than five years’ armed forces service (who may have done national service, for example) would be considered as non-veterans for this study. Even if you did not see your career as having a significant impact you may still be able to join in our study.

We are also inviting a close companion (e.g. spouse, child, close friend) of an individual who is over the age of 65 and either served in the UK armed forces (for longer than 5 years) or served in a non-military profession for longer than 5 years. We would like to speak to the close companions of veteran and non-veteran individuals to investigate the impact of occupation of the life course from a third party perspective.


What does taking part involve?

Participants and close companions will be asked to complete some questionnaires and take part in an interview with one of our researchers. The questionnaires can be completed by post or online. Researchers can interview you over the telephone or at your home. The interview should take approximately one hour. The interview will be recorded to make sure that the interviewer does not miss any of the information that you give. The recording will be securely destroyed at the end of data collection.

You and your close companion will each receive a cheque for £20 as a thank you for your time!


What will happen to the information I give in the interview and questionnaire?

Only the research team will have access to the personal information you provide. Information will be stored securely. We may share completely anonymised datasets with other research institutions. However, we will never release data which contains any information that would identify you. We will also not pass your contact details to any third parties. The overall findings and results of the study will be published, but individual responses will be entirely confidential.


How do I take part?

If you have received an invitation letter from the VOICE Study team by post or email and you would like to take part or receive some more information, please contact the research team on 020 7848 5347 or email them at


Do I have to take part?

No, it is up to you to decide. If do agree to take part, then you will be asked to sign a consent form. Even if you do consent to join the study, you will be free to withdraw at any time without giving us a reason. Neither you nor your companion will be treated differently by any NHS service if you chose not to participate in this study or if you decide to withdraw. 


What are the benefits of taking part?

Many people who have been interviewed have said that they valued the opportunity to talk about their experiences. The information we get from this study may help to improve the services and support that are available to other individuals over 65.


Do I get paid to take part?

Yes, once you have completed the questionnaires and interview and we have received the consent form, we will send you a voucher for £20 to say thank you.


Who is funding the study?

The study is funded by the Royal British Legion. However, the research team is fully independent of the Royal British Legion and Ministry of Defence.


Has this study been reviewed?

Yes, this research has been reviewed and approved by Camden and King’s Cross NHS Research Ethics Committee.


What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

We do not think that it is likely that those taking part in our study will become very distressed as a result. If the study interview or questionnaires do prove very distressing for you, study researchers will be available to help and will provide contact information for various organisations. Similarly, if your questionnaire responses indicate that you may need some formal support, researchers will provide contact details for organisations that can offer help. If necessary, researchers can put you in touch with experienced health professionals or write to your doctor if preferred.


Who can I contact with questions or comments?

Call us:

020 7848 5347

Email us: 

Write to us:

VOICE Study,
Weston Education Centre,
King’s College London,
Cutcombe Rd,
London, SE5 9RJ


Further information:

If your question has not been answered, more information can be found in the Participant Information Sheet and Companion Information Sheet, available through the links on the right.

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