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We aim to understand how people from diverse backgrounds have experienced COVID-19.

A hand-drawn illustration of a diverse group of people. © Shutterstock

Aim

We aim to understand how people from diverse backgrounds have experienced COVID-19. We will use this learning to improve services and support available for households affected by COVID-19.

Why is this important?

Being ill with COVID-19 impacts all of us in different ways. So do the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of infection. Some people have been more affected by the pandemic than others, such as those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups.

As we get used to living with this novel virus, it is important to understand the reasons for these differences. People’s experiences of the virus may be affected by what job they do, who they live with, and if they have other health conditions. People who have had COVID-19 understand the full range of ways in which the pandemic has affected their lives. Hearing and sharing their stories makes visible what needs to change. This will help in designing better health and social care support and services for all households affected by COVID-19.

What we are doing

We are interviewing people who have had COVID-19. We want to know how people made sense of what happened to them and how their recovery from COVID-19 has played out. We also want to get their ideas about how services and community support could be improved.

Have you had COVID-19 and currently live in the UK? We’d love to hear your story.

We are particularly interested to speak with people from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds. Please get in touch with the team and we’ll tell you more about joining the research: covidexperiences@phc.ox.ac.uk 

For now, we are only interviewing people over 18 years old, but we will be exploring younger people’s experiences of COVID-19 later in the year.

How will this benefit patients and the public?

We want to use the interviews to develop an online platform as part of the Healthtalk.org website. This will form a record of people’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

The website will have extracts from people’s interviews giving examples of the medical aspects of COVID-19, such as symptoms, testing and treatment. It will also have information about the broader impact of COVID-19 on other aspects of people’s lives.

This information will help inform and support people and their families. We will also use this information to develop resources to support health and social care staff, and policy makers in improving health service delivery.

Related research

We are connected with another research project that is exploring people’s experiences of being in hospital intensive care units with COVID-19. Find out more about that project here.

Department team members: