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Global COVID-19-related projects

1. C19 MentalHealthNet

The COVID-19 Mental Health Research Network 

Project leaders: Soraya Seedat & Nancy Kassam-Adams

Project group: Natasha Kitchin (natashak@sun.ac.za), Nancy Kassam-Adams, Soraya Seedat, Ulrich Schnyder, Miranda Olff.

Interested to join the project group as a project ambassador? Please email Natasha.

Aims and method

The Global Collaboration of Traumatic Stress is collecting information on COVID-19 related mental health research that is being conducted or planned around the world. The aim of this project is to offer opportunities for collaboration, encourage sharing of resources (and data), and promote interchange amongst researchers in this area. 

 

The Global Collaboration has particular interest in facilitating multi-country and cross-cultural research and interchange, and in encouraging research that addresses the experiences of vulnerable populations. 

Read more and join the network here…

2. Traumatic Stress and Adversity Faced by COVID-19 Frontline Healthcare Workers - A Text Mining Approach (C19-Text)

Project leader:  Julian Ford (jford@uchc.edu)

Project group: Miranda Olff, Cherie Armour, Jon Elhai, Davide Marengo, Marit Sijbrandij, Katharina Schultebraucks

Aims and method

Healthcare professionals and workers are exposed to many potentially traumatic threats and losses when caring for COVID-19 patients. Social and news media provide a channel for the general public to communicate with and about COVID-19 healthcare providers and for healthcare providers to communicate with each other and with their communities.

Text mining procedures with large news and social media databases internationally will be used to perform qualitative and machine learning analyses to identify and quantify major themes of the stressors and protective factors experienced by COVID-19 healthcare providers and correlate these with regional and national data on COVID-19 incidence and deaths, health system capacities and responses, and socioeconomic and ethnocultural factors. The aim is to refine the traumatic stress field’s knowledge of and interventions for the unique traumatic and related socioeconomic and ethnocultural stressors and protective factors facing COVID-19 healthcare providers.

3. Stressors, coping and symptoms of adjustment disorder in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic 

Project leaders: Annett Lotzin (A.Lotzin@uke.de) & Ingo Schäfer on behalf of ESTSS

Project group members: Helene Flood Aakvaag, Elena Acquarini, Dean Ajdukovic, Vittoria Ardino, Maria Böttche, Kristina Bondjers, Maria Bragesjö, Małgorzata Dragan, Piotr Grajewski, Margarida Figueiredo-Braga, Odeta Gelezelyte, Jana Darejan Javakhishvili, Evaldas Kazlauskas, Matthias Knefel, Brigitte Lueger-Schuster, Nino Makhashvili, Trudy Mooren, Luisa Sales, and Aleksandra Stevanovic. Please contact Annett Lotzin if you are interested in joining the study.

 

Aims and method

The primary aim of this longitudinal cohort study launched by the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) is to examine the relationships between risk and resilience factors, stressors and adjustment disorder symptoms during the pandemic, and to investigate whether these relationships are moderated by coping behaviors. All data will be assessed by an online-questionnaire longitudinally, with an interval of six months. Following a conceptual framework based on the WHO’s social framework of health, an assessment of individual and country-level risk and resilience factors, COVID-19 related stressors and pandemic-specific coping behavior will be measured to estimate their contribution to symptoms of adverse adjustment. As primary measure, adjustment disorder symptoms will be assessed (ADNM-8). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PC-PTSD-5) will be measured as a secondary measure. At present, eleven countries are participating in this study.

4. High-risk occupational groups responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Project leaders: Talya Greene, Jo Billings, Michael Bloomfield

Project members: tbd

 

Aims and method

It is essential that the psychological response to the COVID-19 outbreak is coordinated, trauma-informed and evidence-based. This project aims to collate and develop globally transferable guidance for the psychosocial support of high-risk occupational groups responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These groups include healthcare workers (e.g., doctors, nurses, technicians, porters, paramedics, hospital administrators), other essential workers (e.g., social workers, care home staff, cleaners, delivery workers), and their family members. Guidance should be evidence-based and is focused on which interventions are likely to be helpful, and which may be harmful, in coping with peritraumatic stress exposure, and mitigating long-term trauma reactions.

5. Posttraumatic adjustment in nurses

Project leader: Prof Dr Judith Daniels (j.k.daniels@rug.nl)

Project group: Judith Daniels, Astrid Lampe, Birgit Kleim, and others. Please contact Dr Daniels if interested to join.

 

Aims and method

Nurses are at the frontline of the current pandemic. They often have to handle emotionally impactful situations and at times make decisions that are against their moral judgements. We will assess the impact this has on their mental health and how the adjust following the peak of the crisis

It will be longitudinal online study with 3 assessment time points: after the local peak in Covid cases, 3 months later, and 6 months later.

Ideally, all nurses of the clinic would receive the invitation via their work email. We will have control groups (nurses in maternity etc) to compare to nurses in ICU/oncology etc. The questionnaire will take approx. 15 minutes per time point.

6. REACH for Mental Health
Project leaders: Amantia Ametaj, Archana Basu, Karmel Choi, Christy Denckla, Bizu Gelaye, Shaili Jha, Karestan Koenen, Kristina Korte

Please contact: Shaili Jha  (sjha@hsph.harvard.edu) if interested to join.

Aims and method
The mission of the REACH project is to bring evidence-based skills on managing stress and enhancing resilience to everyone around the world. This coordinated effort to “Do the Five for Mental Health” in the COVID-19 pandemic is summarized by the acronym REACH, which stands for 'Recognize the Problem', 'Expand the Social Safety Net', 'Assist Those Most at Risk', 'Cultivate Resilience', and 'Have Empathy.' One example of this initiative is the COVID-19 Mental Health Forums offered through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health designed to: 1) introduce evidence-based skills for managing stress related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; and 2) provide techniques for adapting and enhancing resilience. Each week, Dr. Karestan Koenen and colleagues host international experts in the field of clinical psychology and trauma epidemiology research to address important emotional, psychological, and physical health issues related to daily life during a pandemic. These forums are global in focus, hosting for example African psychiatrists covering issues facing sub-Saharan Africa at this time. These forums are always open to the global public and include a discussion and Q&A with attendees. If you would like to view previous forums and resources, learn more about upcoming forums, or join our mailing list, please visit our website at https://hsph.me/covid-19-mental-health. We are open to global collaboration for evaluating REACH worldwide and to adapt the interventions to local cultures.

7. Psychological Effects of the Corona Virus COVID19

Project Leaders:

Prof Sara Freedman (Sara.freedman@biu.ac.il), Dr Talya Greene, Prof Cherie Armour

Project Group Members: Azu Garcia Palacios, Eduardo Fernandez, Emily McGlinchey,Kareena McAloney, Kerri McPherson, Pietro Cipresso. Please contact Sara Freedman if you are interested to join.

 

Aims and method

This study aims to further our understanding of psychological effects of the Coronavirus, assessing these as they change over time. We are specifically interested in PTSD symptoms and their relationship with Corona related exposure and worry.

The first stage of this project (launched a month ago) included demographic questionnaires, Coronavirus exposure and worry, PTSD, LEC, GAD7 and PHQ9. Participants (from English, Spanish and Hebrew speaking countries) are now answering questionnaires on a weekly basis.

8. Global Psychotrauma Screen – Cross-Cultural responses to COVID-19 versus other traumatic events (GPS-CCC)

Project group:

Miranda Olff, Helene Aakvaag, Zafer Altunbezel, Anne Bakker, Lucia Cantoni, Bruno Coimbra, Emma Grace, Wissam El Hage, Jackie June ter Heide, Chris Hoeboer, Ani Hovnanyan, Jana Javakhishvili, Juliana Lanza, ​Marcelo Mello, Misari Oe, Muirne Paap, Indira Primasari, Daniela Rabellino, Yulan Qing, Luisa Sales, Carolina Salgado, and Soraya Seedat. ​

We are looking for collaborators and ambassadors of this project who help us collect the data cross-culturally, and/or analyze data and work on a joint publication of the results, please contact Miranda Olff.

 

Aims and method

The aim of the GPS-CCC study is to better understand reactions to COVID-19 related traumatic events compared to those to other traumatic events and how these may differ, across different cultures and populations, and across different phases of the pandemic.

We invite individuals aged 16 or older, from around the world, who have experienced any difficult or frightening events, whether related to Corona virus (COVID-19) or other events such as a serious accident or fire, physical or sexual assault or abuse, earthquake or flood, war, seeing someone be killed or seriously injured, or having a loved one die through homicide or suicide, to participate in this 5 minute survey via this link

A few introductory questions lead to the Global Psychotrauma Screen (GPS) which has been developed by the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress (GC-TS) as a brief measure screening for a wide range of potential outcomes of trauma, as well as for risk and protective factors. It is currently available in 23 languages. The measure was designed to be simple, cross-culturally valid, and easy to administer in a variety of circumstances, e.g. shortly after mass trauma, but would also tap potential consequences up to decades after trauma (Olff., et al 2020, or GPS page).

Here we use the GPS web-app which allows to easily fill out the GPS and receive feedback. The app additionally includes questions on the type and time of the event experienced (COVID-19 has been added), as well as an item on global functioning. It provides – at this time – conservative feedback on the scores with advice on seeking further help if needed, using international websites that provide contact information for mental health crisis hotlines internationally. 

Learning about specific responses to different types of trauma, different populations, will help us better target preventative and curative interventions.

Participants from all over the world (16 years and older) are invited to go to this portal:

https://www.global-psychotrauma.net/take-gps-test

9.  COVID-19 Unmasked: Understanding the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on young children (1-5 years) and their families

 

Project Leader: Dr Alex De Young

Project Group:

Dr Mira Vasileva , A/Prof Eva Alisic, Dr Elisabeth Hoehn, A/Prof Vanessa Cobham, Prof Sonja March, A/Prof Caroline Donavon, Prof Christel Middeldorp.

We are looking for collaborators for this project who will help us collect the data cross-culturally, and/or analyse data and work on a joint publication of the results. Please contact Alex De Young (Alex.DeYoung@health.qld.gov.au) if you are interested to collaborate.

 

Aims and Method

The aim of this study is to advance urgent research into understanding the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children (1-6 years) and their families. The online survey will distributed via REDCap throughout Australia and internationally on 4 occasions (baseline and 3-, 6-, 12-months) to determine (1) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social and emotional wellbeing of infants and preschoolers and (2) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parent’s mental health, and (3) identify the risk and protective factors for child mental health outcomes.

 

The findings will directly translate into mental health promotion and prevention models for the first 2000 days by (1) providing public health advice to inform future preparedness and response efforts by identifying the typical responses and characteristics of young children and their caregivers most at-risk over a 12-month period; (2) promote resilience and emotional wellbeing by identifying factors which contribute to positive outcome trajectories; and (3) provide accurate and comprehensive information to determine developmentally sensitive, ethically, culturally and economically effective strategies that are best suited to the mental health needs and context for each child/family.

© 2019 by Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress