HAGIS: COVID-19 Impact & Recovery Study

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in some way. The purpose of this study is to explore how the pandemic has impacted the way those aged 50+ live their lives in Scotland. The survey measures COVID-19 concerns relating to restrictions, financial worries, concerns for the future and vaccine attitudes.  The survey then explores decision making relating to visiting family and friends, attending health appointments, returning to the workplace, and savings and spending patterns.

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The study will provide understanding of how older people have negotiated their response to different aspects of their life in this ‘new normal’. This will make a significant contribution to policy debate and public health messaging in Scotland. 

This study is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is one of the leading funders of Public Health research in the UK and selected to support this study as part of their aim to further understand the impact of COVID-19 on the UK population.  

The HAGIS projects described below are currently underway. 

Project 1: Development of Validated COVID-19 Fear Measure
Project 2: Health Behaviours & Health Service Engagement

Emerging literature from the USA and Canada indicate widespread COVID-19 fear. However little is known about its prevalence in the UK, or if it is socially graded. Understanding the prevalence and intersectionality of COVID-19 fear is imperative for public health messaging and policy responses to the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and re-engagement with society. 

 

We are developing the COVID-19 fear survey instrument, and co-producing the interpretation of findings and recommendations for policy and practice via an e-Delphi consultation.

COVID-19 fear is more widespread than fear of other more prevalent health conditions, e.g. seasonal flu. COVID fear may be more prevalent in those with predictors of poor outcomes from COVID-19, e.g. those who are older, overweight, deprived, or with multi- morbidities. It is anticipated that COVID-19 fear may have both positive and detrimental effects on engagement with health services.

We are exploring predictors of COVID-19 fear, and the association between COVID fear and health service engagement, such as GP and hospital attendance and participation in the cancer screening programmes.

Project 3: Social Connectedness & Technology Use

Social isolation and distancing measures brought by COVID-19 have impacted social connectedness and as a result, provided an impetus for older people to explore the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) to stay connected.

 

We are exploring older people’s lived experience of social connectedness and their use of ICTs during lockdown, probing individual motivations and exploring the extent to which COVID-19 restrictions may have impacted on, or relate to, digital divides. 

Project 4: Return to Work, Consumption & Savings Behaviours

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected where and how we work, save and spend, including how we travel between home, work, shops and other recreational activities (e.g. restaurants, cinema, pubs).

 

We are looking at how COVID-19 fear has affected willingness to return to a physical workplace other than home, how individuals have renegotiated their consumption and saving behaviour in the light of COVID-19, including willingness to travel.