Title of Research: Exploring student athletes’ experiences of exercise-associated gastrointestinal symptoms (GIS): A mixed methods approach


GI Study is NOW RECRUITING at StFX, UPEI & Acadia Universities

Review the online INVITATION to PARTICIPATE and CONSENT FORM here and sign up to join the StFX study.

Review the online INVITATION to PARTICIPATE and CONSENT FORM here and sign up to join the UPEI study.

Review the online INVITATION to PARTICIPATE and CONSENT FORM here and sign up to join the Acadia study.


GI Study Recruitment Poster
















Invitation to Participate

What is the purpose of this study?

This study is designed to explore and describe experiences of student athletes regarding stomach and gut discomfort that occur during exercise training and competition. Findings may serve as a basis for further research studies or trials pertaining to these gut symptoms.

What is the study design and how many participants are involved?
The study design is a cross-sectional survey. We aim to have at least 100 people complete the survey questionnaire.

What will be my responsibilities if I choose to participate?
If you choose to participate in this study, you will be directed to an online questionnaire where you will be asked about your experiences in your sport that will cover a range of basic demographic factors, exercise and training practices, medical history of food allergies or intolerances, gut-related symptoms during exercise, and a tool to measure quality of life. Your responses will help us understand the extent and severity of gut-related symptoms for student athletes in a variety of sports. The questionnaire will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Voluntary Participation:
Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary. All data collected from this survey will be kept anonymous and confidential. You do not have to answer any survey questions that you are not comfortable answering. You may omit questions or withdraw from the study at any time, without any penalty. If you withdraw from the study after completing all or part of the survey, you have the right to determine if your responses may be included in the study analysis or not.

To withdraw from this survey, exit the web browser before completing the survey. Questionnaire responses will be deleted upon exiting the browser before the questionnaire is complete. To withdraw from this study after data has been submitted, please contact the research supervisors with the contact information provided above.

Upon completion of the informed consent questionnaire, you will be sent an email with a confidential study ID# and a link to the main online questionnaire. Your name and contact information will never be linked with your survey responses. Instead, your anonymous study ID# will be entered into the study questionnaire. Study responses will only be publicized in aggregate (not individual) form, with the exceptions of open-ended responses. Quotations and paraphrased written content may be used with a randomly generated pseudonym so that anonymity and confidentiality are maintained. Although electronic data cannot be made 100% secure, every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of your data.

Potential Harms and Benefits:
There is no financial cost to participate in this study and we do not anticipate any harms beyond the risks associated with daily life. Based on individual life experiences, however, certain questions in the survey (e.g. body weight, gut symptoms) may cause some degree of emotional stress to some participants. To reduce this risk a “prefer not to answer” option is provided. You may also skip any question that makes you feel uncomfortable to answer.

You may benefit from participating in this study through reflecting on your training and competition experiences that may be related to stomach or gut discomfort. This could lead to an improved awareness of your gut symptoms and may increase your capacity to seek medical or nutrition counselling for gut symptoms.
To compensate for participants time, there will be a lottery draw for two $50 gift cards to Sobeys grocery store.

Study Findings:
Published results will be available from the study website as they emerge:

If you have questions or would like to clarify the study, please, do not hesitate to contact any of the researchers listed at the top of this letter. We declare that we have no conflicts of interest with respect to this research. There are no commercial outcomes for their research.

Questions for the UPEI Research Ethics Boards may be addressed to: (902)-620-5104 or by email,

Questions about the study may be addressed to:


 ______________________                       ________________________          

Dr. Jen Jamieson                                      Dr. Ruth Harvie                                  

Associate Professor                                Assistant Professor, NZ Registered Dietitian                           

Phone: (902) 867-5568                               Phone: (902) 867-3224

Email:                              Email:

Dept. Human Nutrition

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000, Antigonish, NS  B2G 2W5


Student Researcher

Hannah Ellis

Phone: (902) 229-3805



Acadia Co-Investigator

Dr. Mojtaba Kaviani

Assistant Professor, School of Nutrition and Dietetics, Acadia