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Long Covid, like most chronic illness, is having a dramatic effect on family life, schooling, and relationships

As a chronic illness long Covid can have a dramatic effect on individual and family life, schooling, and relationships. Debilitating symptoms may last months, or years. Our team in the Medical Sociology & Health Experiences Research Group (MS&HERG) have been finding out how family life has been transformed by having, or caring for someone with, long Covid.

We aim to understand what it is like to experience Long Covid in families with children and young adults.


We aim to understand what it is like to experience Long Covid in families with children and young adults. We will speak to people in families from diverse backgrounds and use this information to help improve services and support for families affected by Long Covid.

Why is this important?

When someone in a family has Long Covid, it has a big impact on other members of their family too. Most people with Long Covid are managing at home in the context of family life. Some families may have been more affected by Long Covid than others, such as those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups.

As we learn more about Long Covid, it is important to understand how it may be changing family life and to find out why some families have different experiences to others. People’s experiences of Long Covid may be different depending on what job they do, who they live with, and if they have other health conditions. People with experience of Long Covid understand the many ways in which the pandemic has affected their lives. Hearing and sharing their stories will help make people aware of what it is like and what needs to change. This will help in designing better health and social care support and services for all families affected by Long Covid

What we are doing

We have been interviewing people who have experienced Long Covid in families: teenagers, young people, and parents/caregivers of younger children. We have heard people’s descriptions of what happened to them and how their experience of Long Covid has changed over time. We also heard their ideas about how services and community support could be improved.

To find out more about the research, please contact the team:

NB: this study has closed recruitment.


We want to use the interviews to develop an online platform as part of the website. This will form a record of experiences of Long Covid in families in the UK.

The website will have extracts from people’s interviews giving examples of the medical aspects of Long Covid, such as symptoms, testing and treatment. It will also have information about the other ways that Long Covid can affect aspects of family life.

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.

This study has had patient and public involvement (PPI) since its conception and is guided by an advisory panel that includes PPI representatives.

Related research

We are connected with three other research projects exploring people’s experiences of COVID-19:

Experiences of Covid-19 and Intensive care Find out more about the project here

Long Covid in Adults Find out more about the project here

Learning from diverse experiences of Covid-19 Find out more about the project here


Department team members: