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The University of Southampton

Largest study into impact of pandemic on global communities

Published: 8 June 2020
COH-FIT logo

The University of Southampton is taking a leading role in the largest worldwide study into the mental and physical impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ‘Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times’ (COH-FIT) aims to survey more than 100,000 people around the world. It will collect data on participants’ around their mental and physical wellbeing, access to care and coping strategies before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far the survey, led by Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/NorthwellHempstead, New York, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University of PaduA, has received responses from over 100 countries across six continents. The UK section of the survey is being led by Professor Samuele Cortese, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Southampton.

The researchers want to establish the short and long term impact of the pandemic and whether lockdown restrictions place different sections of the population at different risk of developing physical and mental health problems. The survey aims also to find possible protective factors in relation to physical and mental wellbeing.

The project collects anonymous information on adults and, with parental consent, adolescents and children aged six years or older. In addition to asking about the participants’ physical and mental health status, the survey also collects data on demographics, professional status and environmental factors.

The survey will be conducted in three stages, the first of which will take place during the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be followed by further surveys at six and twelve months after the end of the pandemic (as per WHO estimates).

Professor Cortese said: “The approach we are taking will help us learn more about the risk to people’s mental and physical health as a result of the pandemic, as well as possible protective factors The survey will inform health policies in the UK and internationally after the pandemic is over, including what actions could be taken to help those most affected should other pandemics arise.“

The findings will be presented nationally and internationally to the scientific community, with the aim of helping to develop targeted interventions for persons at particularly high risk.

Those interested in taking part can access the survey at


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