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Global study into the psychological impact of coronavirus

02 June 2020


The James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is now part of a collaborative group, led by colleagues at Southern Health, who are conducting a global study into the psychological impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Some of our Research Team team - about 16 members of staff - stand outside the front of our hospital in three lines, at varying distances from the camera, all socially distanced by two metres

The study, which is available online and open to anyone over 16, aims to explore the impact coronavirus and the lockdown is having and will continue to have on our emotions, behaviour and wellbeing.

Prof Shanaya Rathod, Consultant Psychiatrist & Director of Research at Southern Health said: “The global impact of COVID 19 will be felt by us for a long time. Our study aims to investigate the psychological impact of COVID 19 on general population, healthcare workers, patients with COVID and individuals with vulnerabilities.”

Whilst some restrictions have been eased this week, forms of social distancing and isolation are set to continue for many months. Reactions to these conditions will vary across individuals and studying how people react and cope will play an important part in shaping how the NHS responds to any future crisis.

The study is linked to the Medical Research Council global health research programme led by the Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population, and Policy, University of Portsmouth, the study involves a whole range of partners across the NHS. This includes local colleagues from Portsmouth Hospitals, University Hospital Southampton, Solent NHS Trust and Hampshire Hospitals.

Mirroring the truly global scale of the pandemic, the study is also being shared by partners across the world, including in Canada, India, Greece, Singapore and Holland among others. The study aims to not only look at how the virus has impacted on our own mental health across the UK but then compare it to others from different countries. 

Professor Rathod added: “The global platform and use of validated questionnaires allows the study to assess the wider impact of culture, political landscapes and impact of different responses in different countries. As a result we will be able to understand and strengthen our ongoing responses and those for any future crisis.”

With over 55 sites across the UK and dozens across the globe either already running the survey, in the process of setting it up, or expressing their interest, it is hoped the study will provide researchers and the NHS with much wider view of how the pandemic has affected people. This data can then be used to adapt and improve our responses to future crisis, allowing a more personalised approach to psychological support.  

For more information on the study or to participate follow the link; and please choose James Paget University Hospital from the drop down menu when prompted.