Scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have launched a nationwide study to investigate the impact coronavirus measures are having on Scotland’s mental health.
In the first major survey of its kind, four top psychology researchers will analyse the effects of lockdown and quarantine on the psychological wellbeing of the public over the next three months.
Experts are calling on members of the public, living in Scotland and over 18 from all backgrounds, to sign up on the GCUcovid19.org page before midnight on Tuesday, April 14. Participants will be asked to fill in a short 20-minute online survey, followed by a series of 10-minute questionnaires at intervals over the next three months.
Data from the confidential survey will be used to help healthcare professionals develop interventions to support people during and after the virus pandemic, and policymakers find out what impact the COVID-19 measures are having on the public’s mental health.
The COVID-19 investigation in Scotland is being led by GCU Head of Psychology Dr Kerri McPherson and Senior Lecturer in Applied Health Psychology Dr Kareena McAloney-Kocaman, supported by lecturer Dr Birgit Schroeter and researcher Pia Faeth, working in collaboration with Professor Cherie Armour and Dr Emily McGlinchey, from Queen’s University Belfast.
Dr McAloney-Kocaman explained: “We want to understand the impact of COVID-19, and in particular of the lockdown and quarantine measures, on the psychological wellbeing of people in Scotland.
“We hope to be able to identify things that will help with resilience for our mental health and things that are risk factors for mental health conditions so that we can support people better. It’s an online survey. The first one is 20 minutes and after that you’ll be able take part in further surveys each week that only take 10-minutes over 12 weeks.
“We are encouraging as many people as possible, living in Scotland and over the age of 18, to sign up to this survey. The more people we have and the more from different backgrounds we have filling in this survey the better we will be able to understand how this pandemic is impacting on wellbeing.
“The results of the survey will help to inform healthcare practitioners to develop interventions to support people through quarantine and lockdown, and it will also be used in evidence to policymakers and government as to the effect of some of those measures on the psychological wellbeing of the public and how we can address any negative impact from the COVID-19 measures.
“This research presents a unique opportunity for psychologists to understand how people in Scotland are impacted by the current pandemic, and will allow us to better understand how the impact on people changes as the situation within the UK and Scotland does.
“This will be important not only in supporting people through the COVID 19 pandemic, but in understanding and supporting people across a range of stressful situations.
“While we are undeniably in a situation where physical health is of critical importance, we need to be mindful of how this impacts on our psychological well-being and mental health.”
To sign up to The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Psychological Wellbeing Study please visit the GCUcovid19.org page online. The deadline is midnight on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.