Below are some frequently asked questions from participants:
Q1. What is the target group?
Adults who look at pictures or films of prepubertal children for sexual purposes, who see this behavior as a problem, and who would like to take steps to make a change.
From our clinical experience at our sexual medicine clinic in Stockholm, and previous research we know that having a sexual interest in children can lead to difficulties in different aspects of life, for example anxiety and shame, stressful family situations, fear of being exposed, as well as other potential consequences. We also believe it is beneficial for preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation both on- and offline.
Q2. What is the program like that is being evaluated?
We are evaluating a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program. CBT is a very established and scientifically well validated form of psychotherapy. Research shows that for many conditions, CBT is as effective face to face, as when delivered over the internet. This specific CBT program consists of eight short weekly modules. They are in video format or text, with associated worksheets, and weekly individual feedback from a therapist. The program is 8 weeks long, with a follow-up after four more weeks. Most conversation is done via online chat or email within the platform. To go through initial assessments, we hold a live interview over a chat forum within the platform. The aim of the treatment is not to modify a sexual attraction pattern, but to identify ways to help reduce these anxiety provoking behavior patterns and increase quality of life. For research purposes the Prevent it CBT program is compared to a similar program without CBT ingredients that we call psychological placebo.
Q4. Do I need an email address?
After weighing both the risks and the benefits of having an email attached to the platform, we decided to make it optional for the participants to choose whether they would like to use an email or not.
The benefits of using an email include us being able to reach participants by email to remind them to take the next step in the treatment. Another benefit is to be able to help participants with password resets, should they lose their password to the platform. This means that the person who choose not to leave an email is responsible for keeping their log in information safe, as there would be no way to recover the password without an email attached.
The risks, however, include the identification of participants found through exposure from the use of email. It's relatively hard to obtain an email address anonymously. Using one single email address for more than one purpose, say for Prevent it and other email communication, is risky because it makes identification easier if your information is exposed. This is why we encourage participants to create an email just for platform use.
Q5. How is my information stored?
One of the most important and central aspects to us is to keep all information about our participants secure. All potentially person-identifiable data, such as email address (if one is being used), conversations, chats and answers to assignments, is stored in encrypted form. The risk of identification based on stored data, even for someone with access to the data in a decrypted form, is under the participants control -- by avoiding typing in identifying data (for example in conversations and chats), or by avoiding using an email address that can be linked to an individual, there is very little information stored that could make linking possible. The only information being stored that could potentially help with a confirmation attack to link a participant to other stored data is timestamps in the database indicating the date and time of a certain action being taken, such as when a message was sent, or an assignment was answered. These timestamps would then have to be correlated with other data somehow obtained outside of the platform, pointing at a person. We consider this risk to be low.
Q6. How is my data handled outside of the platform?
The platform has functionality for exporting data from the study to Excel files, to be stored on the computer of the therapist performing the export. Only two therapists (the pilot investigator and the lead researcher) can do this and will do so at the end of the study.
Q7. How is my data handled after the study?
The way sensitive data is handled once the study is finished affects the long-term privacy for participants. Data is going to be exported from the platform and stored on systems under control of ANOVA, sexual medicine clinic at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The data being exported includes nominal entries such as reported increases and decreases in measurable behaviors. No text entries are exported. This will be stored on a private computer without internet connection for the use of the study. Only the project leader and lead investigator will have access to this computer, and they will use this to do statistical analyses which will be published and used to see the efficacy of the treatment.
Q8. What are the benefits of using a Tor browser?
Using Tor Browser to connect to the platform protects from being tracked on the network layer by hindering the IP address from being linked to the web site of the platform. Tor Browser also stops several methods of tracking on the application layer.
Q9. What other measures have you taken for my safety?
Therapists and administrators of the platform use two-factor authentication (2FA) when logging in to the platform. The second factor is the ability to read incoming text messages to a certain phone number, one per therapist or administrator.
Q10. I have other questions not found on this website
Feel free to email us at preventit [at] protonmail.com or karolinska [at] torbox3uiot6wchz.onion