Living with long-COVID study funded

IHW researchers have been awarded a £300k CSO grant to investigate the prevalence and nature of long-COVID in Scotland, and its impact on those who live with the condition.

Photo of coronavirus with red and blue background

The study will be led by Public Health's Professor Jill Pell in partnership with Public Health Scotland and the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. It will comprise a quantitative arm (data to be analysed by Dr Claire Hastie of Public Health) and a qualitative arm (led by Professor Kate O’Donnell and Dr David Blane of General Practice & Primary Care).

There is currently a lack of information on the long-term effects of COVID-19. We don’t know the number of patients who have long-term problems and the nature and impact of these. Existing studies have been small or focused on patients who were admitted to hospital. This study will send an SMS message to invite Scottish adults who had a positive COVID-19 test, and a negative test comparison group. Those who take part will use an app to answer questions about their health before and after COVID-19, and any effect on their lives. Record linkage to routine data will provide additional follow-up information on hospitalisations, medication and subsequent deaths as well as current and past medical history and sociodemographic information. A group of test-positive participants will be recruited to the qualitative study. This will explore in greater depth the impact that on-going symptoms are having on their daily life; the work required of them and their family or support network to deal with the symptoms; experiences of help-seeking; and their ideas on potential interventions and support.

Prof Pell said:

"This study will help us identify those who are at highest risk, pick up their problems earlier and provide the right support." 


First published: 21 January 2021

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