The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £557,674 to investigate how families are managing to cope with ‘long covid’ and to understand how best they can be supported.
The project is one of 15 recently announced studies – together receiving £19.6 million – aiming to help better understand, improve diagnosis and find new treatments for the collection of long-term symptoms some people develop following COVID-19 infection called ‘long COVID’.
Sue Ziebland, Professor of Medical Sociology, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, said:
“Like other long-term conditions, long COVID is largely being managed in the family and household context and is experienced over the long haul of everyday life.
Parents with long COVID often struggle to fulfil their role as parents of young children, while older children and teenagers may be unwell themselves or need to take on a caring role for their parent. Many young adults have returned home, either because they needed to give or receive care, or because they had lost employment.
This all creates new family caring dynamics for people who are also dealing with the unpredictability of long COVID. These experiences and the wider impacts on families have received little attention to date. Our study will help to address this gap through applied qualitative research, including interviews, and analysis of recordings of consultations with GPs.
We will co-design resources to support self-care for these families, including a new section on healthtalk.org, developing training for professionals and service improvement initiatives, and work with Performing Medicine to create interactive theatre workshops for schools.”
Speaking of the wider set of projects announced, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:
“Long COVID can have serious and debilitating long-term effects for thousands of people across the UK, which can make daily life extremely challenging.
This new research is absolutely essential to improve diagnosis and treatments and will be life-changing for those who are battling long-term symptoms of the virus.
It will build on our existing support with over 80 long COVID assessment services open across England as part of a £100 million expansion of care for those suffering from the condition and over £50 million invested in research to better understand the lasting effects of this condition.”
The selection process for this broad range of innovative studies into long COVID involved people with lived experience at every stage. Their input has been invaluable in shaping the outcome of this call and the research projects which will receive funding.