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CLOSER partner studies to survey thousands about the impact of COVID-19

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CLOSER partner studies have launched questionnaires to survey over 100,000 participants about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.

Data collected in the coming months will explore both the short and long-term impact of the pandemic on individuals, families and communities across the UK – assessing life pre-, during and post-COVID-19. Data gathered will focus on the effects of current restrictions, looking at health, social, economic and behavioural changes, and will represent all age groups, from adolescents to older generations. The data will provide insights for both research and policy and help to inform the UK’s response to the immediate and after-effects of COVID-19 in years to come.

“Longitudinal studies have responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure unique insights of relevance for research and policy. As the studies already have a wealth of health, social, economic and behavioural data on their participants across life, they will be able to highlight groups most impacted by the pandemic who may be in need of support. Having contributed to research all their lives, participants in these longitudinal studies will now provide invaluable information to help understand COVID-19.

– Rebecca Hardy, Director of CLOSER

Response to COVID-19 by CLOSER partner studies

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies and MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL, plus Next Steps, have worked together to launch an online, nationwide survey to over 50,000 participants to examine the impact of COVID-19. The survey will gather insights on various aspects of participants’ lives, including physical and mental health, family and relationships, education, work and finances. Data will be made available for research in early summer 2020.

  1. 1958 National Child Development Study (1958 British Birth Cohort Study)
  2. 1970 British Birth Cohort Study
  3. Millennium Cohort Study (Child of the New Century)
  4. MRC National Survey of Health and Development (1946 British Birth Cohort Study)
  5. Next Steps

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  1. Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study

As of April 2020, 42,000 adult participants have been asked to complete a short web-survey once a month. The survey covers the changing impact of the pandemic on individuals, families and wider communities. The first wave of the survey covers coronavirus symptoms and test results, management of long-term health conditions, caring responsibilities, loneliness, employment and finance, home schooling, food and alcohol consumption, exercise and smoking, and mental health.

Data will be available to researchers from the UK Data Service by late May 2020. Researchers will also be able to submit potential questions to future waves of the survey.

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  1. Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children/Children of the 90s (ALSPAC)

ALSPAC have launched a special COVID-19 questionnaire to its 14,500 participants to look at short-term symptoms and longer-term impacts of the pandemic. The survey aims to understand the prevalence of the virus, the psychological, social and economic impact of the current restrictions in place and determine the characteristics of those most and least affected. Over 6,000 participants have already taken part since its launch in April 2020.

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  1. Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS)

HCS aims to invite 3,000 participants to complete a phone interview in mid/late 2021, to explore the impact of the pandemic and current restrictions on wellbeing, diet and physical activity, and access to support services.

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