The purpose of this study is to evaluate a physical activity program that is designed to foster veterans’ sense of community, although the program is open to both veterans and currently serving members of the Canadian armed forces. If you choose to enroll in this study, you will be randomly assigned (immediately after completing baseline assessments) to one of two groups. You will either (a) take part in 6 months of the PASS program (weekly physical activity plus social activities) that will start shortly after baseline assessments, or (b) be placed on a waitlist whereby you will have the opportunity to access the program after 6 months. This project is designed specifically for (those who identify as) men – we are also offering separate programs for current or former members of the armed forces who identify as women.

A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of social identities that develop when people feel socially connected to others. Further, research evidence supports the importance of gender-sensitized interventions for men (i.e., delivered by men, for men) who tend to be reluctant to seek support for career, personal, or transition needs (e.g., transitioning from the military to civilian life). By bringing men together who share experiences of having served in the military, PASS was designed to foster veterans’ sense of community, bolster physical and mental health, and link veterans to other support services and resources.

Your participation is entirely voluntary. You may choose whether or not to take part in this study. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand what the research involves. This form will inform you about the study, why the research is being done, what you will be asked to do during the study and the possible benefits, risks, and discomforts. If you wish to participate, you will be asked to sign this consent form. If you do decide to take part in this study, you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving any reasons for your decision. If you do not wish to participate, you do not have to provide any reason for your decision not to participate.

You are eligible to participate if you:

  1. Are a veteran, as defined by Veterans Affairs Canada as any former member who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably discharged (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/what-we-do/mandate), of the Canadian Armed Forces or other allied military. You can also take part in the study if you are currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (either as a regular force member or reservist).
  2. Self-identify as a man.
  3. Have received full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccination (min 2 injections) and must provide proof of vaccination, as this is required to access all active military bases in Canada.
  4. Be able to read and understand English or French.
  5. Have access to a computer, tablet, or other device, that has access to the internet.
  6. Live at, or in close proximity to, one of the nine study locations (Esquimalt, BC; Edmonton, AB, Shilo, MB; Borden, ON; Kingston, ON; Petawawa, ON; Valcartier, QC; Montreal, QC; Gagetown, NB — see map under the ‘Am I Eligible’ tab)

You will be unable to participate in this study if you are unwilling to disclose your vaccination status. You will be unable to participate in the study if you have a medical history or a current medical condition affecting your heart, lungs, or capacity to exercise. If, for any reason, you are unable to perform moderate-intensity or exercise, you should not participate in this study.

This study takes place on active military bases across Canada (e.g., armouries) and will recruit 504 participants. If you volunteer to participate in this research, the research coordinator will schedule a time to determine if you qualify for the study via a set of pre-determined screening questions. Should you qualify for study participation, you will be invited to provide informed consent, after which you will be asked to complete a baseline survey. In addition, veteran participants (but not currently serving military members) will be asked to complete a basic fitness test, blood pressure assessment, and provide a blood sample (by a licensed phlebotomist) at baseline and at 6 months (after program completion). The fitness test, blood pressure assessment, and blood samples provide good indicators of physical health. Blood samples will be destroyed immediately after analysis.


After completing the baseline measures, participants will be randomized to one of two trial conditions, and then asked to complete a questionnaire (taking approx. 20-30 minutes on each occasion) once a month for 6 months. If you are randomized to receive the PASS program, you will be invited to take part in weekly ball hockey nights for 6 months, with sessions lasting 45-60 minutes. Participants will also be provided the opportunity to socially connect and network afterwards for military and civilian work needs. By taking part in this study, the PASS program will be FREE to you. For those randomized to the wait-list control condition, you will have the opportunity to access and take part in the PASS program after 6 months (again, at no cost). Participants in both conditions will receive $10 on each occasion that they complete the study questionnaires (at baseline, and every month of the program = $70 per person). Veterans who complete the fitness test, blood pressure assessment, and blood draws will also receive an additional $40 (at baseline and after 6 months). Approximately one month after the trial has ended, a sub-group of veterans (n = 10) and currently serving military (n = 10) participants who took part in the PASS program will be invited to take part in semi-structured interviews (lasting approximately 30-40 mins) to evaluate their experiences of the program, and identify ways in which it could be improved (prior to future dissemination). Participants who take part in the interviews will receive a further $40.

The exercises performed in the programs involve movements of daily living and are safe to perform. Nevertheless, fatigue and physical discomfort may be experienced due to physical exertion during exercise, depending on your fitness level. To ensure that you are suitable to engage in moderate-intensity physical activity without negative consequences to your health, you will be asked to complete a screening measure. Depending on the results of that screening (based on your level of readiness to engage in physical activity) you may also be asked to obtain clearance from your physician before you can participate in this study. Of course, it is also recommended that if you do experience any physical discomfort when you exercise that you contact your family physician.

The results of this study have the potential to shed important light on the efficacy of the PASS program and the extent to which it supports military veterans’ (and currently serving members’) psychological and physical health. There is no guarantee that the study will benefit you. By participating in this program, you will be contributing to important research, as well as contributing to your own physical and mental health. What’s more, you will not need to pay any fees to participate in this program. It’s completely FREE, and we will pay you for participating (by completing questionnaires for all participants, plus fitness tests, blood pressure assessment, and blood draws for veterans only)!

The main risks of this exercise intervention are that of normal moderate-intensity exercise. Exercise has normal and common side effects, particularly when you are new to physical activity; during the exercise session you can expect some shortness of breath, and muscle soreness/discomfort. After exercise, it is normal for some muscle stiffness and soreness, joint stiffness, and tiredness to occur. Exercise carries the risk of injury, including fractures, muscle strains, sprains, skin lesions, and tissue inflammation. Ensuring a good warm-up, being aware of your surroundings, and not overtraining reduce the risk of these injuries significantly.


During the blood draws, you may feel discomfort or irritation from the substances used to clean the area (chlorhexidine, isopropyl alcohol). These potential side effects should disappear within the day of testing. During or after the blood draws, you could experience some bruising, soreness, tenderness, redness, swelling, or itching in the area around the puncture. These symptoms tend to disappear within 48 hours. There is an even smaller risk that you may experience a blood clot or damage to the blood vessel wall. You may feel lightheaded or faint, or you could pass out after the needle insertion or removal. Rarely, a local infection at the puncture site may occur. Any complications that do arise will be immediately treated by the attending who is doing the blood draw. In the unlikely event of a medical emergency during the blood draw, immediate care will be provided by the attending who is doing the blood draw.


In addition, in the questionnaires that will be used in this study we will ask you various questions about your physical and mental health (e.g., psychological well-being, depression, PTSD). You do not have to answer any questions that you do not feel comfortable answering. If, over the course of this study or afterwards, you experience any distress, the Government of Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) have provided a list of resources (including counseling as well as 24/7, confidential health information and advice). This information can be accessed at:


All information will be kept confidential. All data and computers storing the trial data will be encrypted, password-protected, and held in the laboratory of the Principal Investigator. Blood assay analysis will remain confidential and de-identified, and the only persons who will have access will be the principal investigator and the study investigators. All survey data collected in this study is done online via Qualtrics, hosted by UBC. All results produced will be from group data, and no individuals will be identified. Any information that is provided in the end-of-study interviews will remain confidential and de-identified. This means that no information that can identify you (e.g., your name) will be discussed or made available within any reports that may result from this research. All audio-recordings and transcripts will be encrypted and kept confidential on a secure server, for a minimum of 5-years. The only people who will have access to your information and recordings are the principal investigator and the study investigators. As a final note, due to the group setting of this study (involving physical activity in groups and social gatherings), confidentiality is limited as other participants will know of your participation. We encourage all participants to refrain from disclosing study details outside of the study. Remember, that your participation is completely voluntary.


A description of this clinical trial will be available on http://osf.io and www.clinicaltrials.gov. This website will not include information that can identify you. At most, the website will include a summary of the results. You can search for this website at any time. In addition, a lay summary of the results will be shared with all study participants. Your rights to privacy are legally protected by federal and provincial laws that require safeguards to ensure that your privacy is respected. You also have the legal right of access to the information about you that has been provided to the researcher and, if need be, an opportunity to correct any errors in this information. Your confidentiality will be respected. However, research records or other source records identifying you may be inspected in the presence of the investigator or designate and the UBC Clinical Research Ethics Board, for the purpose of monitoring the research.


Your de-identified research data may be published or deposited into a publicly accessible location at the time of publication. This data could include the data collected during the screening questionnaires, study surveys, fitness tests, blood pressure assessments, and blood draws. This means that other researchers may analyze the data for different reasons other than those described in this consent form. Once the data are made publicly available, you will not be able to withdraw your data. At no time will identifying information, such as your name, birth date, or street address be included in such data.

Your participation in this research is entirely voluntary. You may withdraw from this study at any time without giving reasons. If you choose to enter the study and then decide to withdraw at a later time, you have the right to request the withdrawal of your information and surveys collected during the study. This request will be respected to the extent possible. Please note, however, that there may be exceptions where the data will not be able to be withdrawn, for example where the data are no longer identifiable (meaning they cannot be linked in any way back to your identity) or where the questionnaire data has been merged with other data. If you would like to request the withdrawal of your data and samples, please let the research team know.

If you have any questions or desire further information about this study before or during participation, you can contact the research coordinator, Katrina Waldhauser at katrina.waldhauser@ubc.ca. You may also contact the Principal Investigator, Dr. Mark Beauchamp at (604)-822-4864 or by email at mark.beauchamp@ubc.ca.


If you have any questions or desire further information about this study before or during participation, you can contact the research coordinator, Katrina Waldhauser at katrina.waldhauser@ubc.ca. You may also contact the Principal Investigator, Dr. Mark Beauchamp at (604)-822-4864 or by email at mark.beauchamp@ubc.ca.