A major international study into the psychological impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has entered its second phase and people over the age of 16 across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are again being asked for just 15 minutes of their time to participate in the confidential online survey.

Studying how local people from all walks of life have reacted and coped will play an important part in shaping how the NHS responds to any future crisis.

The first part of the study took place in June and now researchers are looking to investigate trends and changes since the summer. They want to know local people’s thoughts, feelings and experiences of the pandemic now we’ve all had much longer living with it and the restrictions necessary to prevent its spread.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Research and Development Dr Gregor Russell explains: “Coronavirus and lockdown have affected us all, but everyone has experienced it differently. The researchers are interested in how your emotions, behaviours and wellbeing have been impacted – positively or negatively – and what has helped or hindered you in coping with these challenging and unprecedented times.”

Results from the first phase of the study have not yet been published, and whether or not you took part in that first phase, it is hoped that as many people as possible in our area will take part in the second phase, which is open until 12 February 2021.

Dr Russell says: “It’s really important for our area to be represented. Although this is a worldwide study, local insights into the psychological impact of this pandemic will help to inform the NHS, so we are able to better understand how to respond to any future infectious disease outbreaks. Findings from the research will help us to understand the priorities, needs and realities for both the public and the health service in the UK.”

People who choose to participate in the survey are asked to provide information about their wellbeing, ways of coping, loneliness and perceived support. The survey will also ask if you are experiencing any mental health difficulties currently or have done so in the past. You do not need to have had any mental health difficulties to complete the questionnaire as it is hoped a wide range of people with many different experiences of the pandemic will take part.

Dr Russell emphasised: “We want people from all walks of life to help us with this survey, including people with pre-existing vulnerabilities and mental health conditions, key workers, people working in health and care settings, families of COVID-19 patients and healthcare professionals, so please do spread the word amongst your friends and family.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is one of 55 organisations across the UK sharing the ‘Psychological impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and experience’ survey with local communities in a bid to get as many people as possible to participate.  Mirroring the truly global scale of the pandemic, the study is also being shared by partners across the world, including, Canada, India, Greece, Singapore, and Holland, amongst others.

All information collected during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. It is hoped it 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 responses to future pandemics, allowing a more personalised approach to psychological support.

In the UK the study is sponsored by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust 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 survey can be accessed directly on Southern Health Trust’s website – https://bit.ly/2JwMQLB

Anyone taking part from Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven is asked to ensure they select Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust when asked where they heard about the survey.