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New study exploring the impact of Long Covid within ethnic minority groups

Published: 28 March 2022
COVID-19 virus

University of Southampton researchers are taking part in a national study to explore the lived experiences of ethnic minority groups living with Long Covid.

The study will explore people’s symptoms, healthcare and wider support and treatment needs, the impact of Long Covid on their daily lives and challenges to accessing support.

Dr Nisreen Alwan and Dr Rebecca Band at Southampton will be part of the team that also includes researchers from University of Westminster, Keele University and Queen Mary University of London.

The study, funded by the NIHR, aims to raise awareness of the issue of Long Covid among ethnic minority communities, especially those of Arab, Black and South Asian backgrounds. These groups have been disproportionately affected by acute infections with COVID-19, including higher death rates, but the rates of Long Covid are not considered to be higher among these groups.

The team will conduct one-to-one interviews with people living with Long Covid, including those who have not accessed Long Covid services, to better understand how they navigate care and support. The study will seek to understand what broader systems of support are utilised by minority groups for Long Covid to inform better management of the condition.

Dr Nisreen Alwan said: “It is vital that we understand the extent of stigma and service barriers among people from those ethnic groups who are historically disadvantaged in relation to health. Long Covid is an opportunity to get this right for other chronic conditions too.”

The researchers aim to connect people living with Long Covid, healthcare professionals and informal support systems and networks to promote culturally appropriate healthcare, and to improve patient care and self-management.

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