B3680 - NCS Cohort Project ARQ1 COVID-19 and Mental Health Outcomes - 16/12/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Gareth Griffith | University of Bristol (UK)
Dr Jazz Croft, Dr Alex Kwong, Dr Ruth Mitchell, Dr Kate Northstone, Professor Nic Timpson
Title of project: 
NCS Cohort Project, ARQ1, COVID-19 and Mental Health Outcomes
Proposal summary: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected daily life across the UK from early March 2020. Viral suppression measures, including nationwide social distancing laws and the imposition both local and national lockdowns are likely to have had a large scale but heterogeneous impact on individual mental health outcomes over this period. Research published using ALSPAC COVID-19 questionnaire data has suggested that whilst depressive symptoms did not increase amongst respondents, anxiety symptoms increased considerably (Kwong et al. 2020). The distribution of these effects are currently poorly understood. This project aims to contextualise how individuals' mental health has changed over the course of the pandemic, and how subsequent economic and health outcomes have been moderated by prior mental health difficulties. Understanding how existing inequalities in mental health prevalence interact with, and are amplified by, the pandemic and associated viral suppression measures is of critical public health importance in helping to identify vulnerable groups in need of further support to aid in reducing health inequalities and promote wellbeing.

Using data from Children of the 90s, we can investigate participants' mental health status, employment, housing, and health behaviours before and during the pandemic, to enable us to make inference about mental health impacts conditional on prior health status.

Impact of research: 
Findings will contribute to the limited evidence base of the impacts of COVID-19 and viral suppression measures on mental health outcomes. It will help target funding at those most vulnerable to the negative outcomes of the pandemic, and inform the need for nuanced mental interventions to alleviate adverse impacts of viral suppression measures.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 15 December, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 16 December, 2020
Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical methods