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TAKE.CARE2020

About the project

2020 will be remembered as the year when our society was shaken by the outbreak of the coronavirus and COVID-19 illness. In order to protect the most vulnerable and to control further spread of the virus, our leaders in government and the Ministry of Health encouraged us to take collective action and follow specific rules for public hygiene. Quite suddenly, our social interactions, studies, work, and everyday routines were drastically affected. While crises may elicit a coping spirit, creativity and feelings of solidarity, they may also contribute to psychological and mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, our knowledge of how a pandemic such as COVID-19 can affect mental health is limited.

What is the purpose of the project?

Everyone is affected in some manner by the outbreak. We assume that while some people will probably cope rather well, others may struggle with loneliness, anxiety or other mental health problems. We want to investigate how people are coping with the current situation. In addition to examining both the short-term and long-term effects related to mental health, we recognize the importance of identifying which factors can predict the development of mental disorders at a later date. Finally, we would like to understand how different people cope differently.

Who can participate?

Adults over the age of 18 and residing in Norway.

Does the study have ethical approval?

The project has been examined and approved by the local ethical committee REK-Nord (REK Nord 123324, March, 2020). The data from all participants will be handled with strict confidentiality according to the private information care guidelines from the University of Bergen, the Regional Ethical Committee and Norwegian GDPR. A copy of the informed consent can be found below.

How long does the survey take?  

It usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to answer. We have incorporated questions specific to the current situation as well as standardised and well-established questionnaires.

If you are a student you will also be asked to answer questions about your academic situation.

If you work in the healthcare sector, you will be asked to answer specific questions related to your working situation.

Why do we contact you?

We have used several channels of recruitment. Many institutions such as high schools, universities or healthcare authorities are helping to spread our surveys by sending emails directly to their students, members or employees.

We are also contacting participants via social media and general media outlets.

Protocol for data collection

Spring 2020- The first questionaire was sent in the period March-May, 2020 to capture the first reaction.

Summer 2020- The second questionnaire will be sent to those who have agreed to be contacted again. The questionnaire will have similar questions, although new ones will be added while others won't be repeated.

2021 and 2022- After the main outbreak, we will follow up participants for approximately two years to ask them about long term effects on mental health and coping.

 

Biology

We know that both predisposition to mental disorders and resilience have biological mechanisms. We are planning to ask a sample of 15,000 participants to participate in a biobank for the identification of these biological factors.

 

National and international collaboration

A pandemic is by nature international. We are involved in several international studies that are looking at similar questions in samples across Nordic countries, Europe and worldwide.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, we welcome your contact.