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Covid Matters

Conversations with experts about COVID-19

covid:aid, the UK's Covid-19 charity, speaks to experts about the key issues we face due to the coronavirus pandemic. We find out more about the vital work they have been doing, how their work and their lives have been a
Latest Episode12/2/2021

Factors impacting the mental health and wellbeing of people with Long Covid

In this episode of Covid Matters, we catch up with Dr Alex Burton, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London (UCL). We last spoke to Alex in July about the Covid-19 Social Study which aims to assess the psychological and social impact of the pandemic on groups within the UK following the coronavirus outbreak. We invited Alex back this month to talk about a report published in October that looks at how the experience of Long Covid has impacted people's mental health and wellbeing.They found five recurring themes across all participants accounts: 1) Experiences of care and understanding from others; 2) Lack of service and treatment options; 3) Severe disruption to daily life; 4) Uncertainty of illness trajectories; 5) Impact on self-identity.Read the full report here.Thanks to Dr Alex Burton for her contributions to this episode of Covid Matters. You find our previous episode with Dr Burton, here.Read more about UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study at www.covidsocialstudy.org where you can find information on how to get involved or read reports including the study discussed in this episode (linked here).If you would like support on your Long Covid experience, please join the covid:aid Covid-19 Support Community where you can chat and connect with others.Find us on social media @covidaidcharity or by visiting our website: https://covidaidcharity.org/
12/2/2021

Factors impacting the mental health and wellbeing of people with Long Covid

In this episode of Covid Matters, we catch up with Dr Alex Burton, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London (UCL). We last spoke to Alex in July about the Covid-19 Social Study which aims to assess the psychological and social impact of the pandemic on groups within the UK following the coronavirus outbreak. We invited Alex back this month to talk about a report published in October that looks at how the experience of Long Covid has impacted people's mental health and wellbeing.They found five recurring themes across all participants accounts: 1) Experiences of care and understanding from others; 2) Lack of service and treatment options; 3) Severe disruption to daily life; 4) Uncertainty of illness trajectories; 5) Impact on self-identity.Read the full report here.Thanks to Dr Alex Burton for her contributions to this episode of Covid Matters. You find our previous episode with Dr Burton, here.Read more about UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study at www.covidsocialstudy.org where you can find information on how to get involved or read reports including the study discussed in this episode (linked here).If you would like support on your Long Covid experience, please join the covid:aid Covid-19 Support Community where you can chat and connect with others.Find us on social media @covidaidcharity or by visiting our website: https://covidaidcharity.org/
11/18/2021

Bereavement and End of Life Care during the Covid-19 pandemic

In this episode of Covid Matters we talk to Dr Emily Harrop, a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Cardiff University who specialises in palliative care. She is currently working as the Co-Principal Investigator in the national ‘Bereavement During Covid-19’ study, looking into people’s experiences of bereavement and the support services they have access to during the coronavirus pandemic. We spoke to Emily to find out more about this study and the findings so far.At the time of recording, Emily was beginning to analyse the first round of responses from the 7 month survey. She explains that a particular challenge in their method of study is that the situation is ongoing, and restrictions are changeable. She said, “it's strange, because you have to also take into account the changing context. Some people’s loved ones will have died in full lockdown, others have experienced death during a period where things had opened-up again. So, we’ve had to take that into account when looking at the results and analysis.”Emily also reminds us of the sad reality of the situation when looking at the statistics – that no one in this study ends up better off. “It's been a terrible time for everyone so I don't want to try and make out that it's been better for some groups than others. The overriding message is that it's been such a tough time for all people who've lost family members during the pandemic.”You can find out more about the Bereavement During Covid-19 study here.Find covid:aid on social media @covidaidcharity or on our website at: https://covidaidcharity.org/You can listen to Covid Matters on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Acast, and wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.Music by Asepirawan20 from Pixabay
11/2/2021

Why and how the LISTEN Project is putting those with Long Covid at the centre of their own rehabilitation

In the latest episode of Covid Matters we find out about the LISTEN Project, which recently received more than £1 million in funding from the National Institute for Health Research and is co-led by Professor Fiona Jones –who spoke to us about the work getting underway.She is the Professor of Rehabilitation Research at St George's University of London and Kingston University, and the founder and CEO of 'Bridges self-management’.In recognition that each person with Long Covid can experience markedly different symptoms, the LISTEN project will work in partnership with patients to design and evaluate a package of self-management support that can be tailored to individual needs.The researchers will first work with people living with or recovered from Long Covid, plus a social enterprise with expertise in reaching seldom heard populations, to design the package and associated patient and training resources.The team will then test the self-management package alongside up to six one-to-one virtual coaching sessions from trained rehabilitation practitioners, to test whether the treatment improves how people with Long Covid feel and how they cope with everyday activities. The researchers will also evaluate how the package could be implemented more widely, with the aim that self-management for people with Long Covid can be delivered at scale.I spoke to Fiona in detail about this work – and I hope you find our conversation as fascinating as I did. You can find a blog from Fiona on our website: https://covidaidcharity.org/And the LISTEN Project Twitter page is here: https://twitter.com/TheLISTENproj
7/29/2021

Death, dying, and Covid-19: The importance of open conversations about trauma, grief and bereavement

In the latest episode of Covid Matters we speak to Anna Lyons and Louise Winter, the founders of Life. Death. Whatever. - an initiative that encourages open dialogue about all matters related to death and dying. We discuss their experiences of the impact Covid-19 has had on the funeral industry, grief, and end-of-life conversations –and their new book We All Know How This Ends.The funeral industry faced enormous challenges when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. This had a significant effect on everyone who has lost a loved one since the start of the pandemic, as well as impacting heavily on those who work in the industry.The founders of Life. Death. Whatever. are Louise Winter, a funeral director and Anna Lyons, an end-of-life doula. They have seen first-hand the challenges faced due to limited contact with the grieving and those at the end of their life, as well as trauma faced by families and friends when deaths have come suddenly, with no time to prepare or come to terms with loss. Anna and Louise believe that speaking about death and dying, and sharing experiences, is vital to allow people to feel supported, and less alone in their grief.We discuss with Anna and Louise the effect Covid-19 has had on the work they do individually and that of Life. Death. Whatever. We also asked them about We All Know How This Ends, their new book dealing with everything related to death and dying. They talk about how important it was to review and rewrite sections of the book to reflect the changes imposed by the pandemic, to allow them to provide people with the ongoing support and resources that will be needed in the wake of Covid-19.You can listen to Covid Matters on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Acast, and wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.Find more about Anna and Louise’s work at the Life. Death. Whatever. website, where you can also find details on how and where to purchase We All Know How This Ends