New study aims to understand the impact of COVID-19 on social and professional lives

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has had an unprecedented impact on people from all walks of life. Our work and social lives have drastically changed in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus, and a new study from Keele’s School of Primary, Community and Social Care will investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting several groups in society.

This study, titled Q-COVID-19, is co-led by Keele’s Professor Christian Mallen and Professor Lisa Dikomitis, who work with a team of experienced health service researchers, sociologists and anthropologists. The researchers aim to understand how the current lockdown restrictions are having an impact on people’s social and professional lives.

Professor Christian Mallen said: “The School of Primary, Community and Social Care at Keele University has an outstanding track record in community focused research that has an impact on patients, their families and wider society. In particular, we strive to work with particular groups or on specific conditions that are frequently neglected.

“With the portfolio of biological COVID-19 research rapidly expanding, we are conducting a series of interview studies that will help us better understand the impact of this pandemic on specific professional groups, under researched and/or marginalised groups.”

The researchers work with participants from five different groups:

  • Primary care and social care professionals (UK)
  • Children, adolescents, parents/guardians and teachers (UK)
  • Older adults (UK)
  • Students in higher education (UK)
  • Health and NGO professionals working among vulnerable populations (international)

Professor Lisa Dikomitis added: “We chose to conduct interviews with individuals from these different groups in society. All interviews will be conducted online or via the telephone. This interview approach allows us to explore in-depth the beliefs, experiences and challenges members of society (children, adolescents, parents/guardians, teachers and older adults) and professionals (primary care, social care, health and NGO professionals) currently face. We envisage that our study findings will help policymakers, health professionals, educators and researchers to better understand the impact of COVID-19.”

It is hoped that the findings will contribute to the rapidly growing body of evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, to better understand the impact of the virus on the country, and to be better prepared for future pandemics.