Preliminary results of PECUNIA partners COVID-19 related research activities

PECUNIA consortium partners are actively engaged in diverse research and field activities related to estimating and fighting the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis as highlighted in the previously posted news article. Updated information and preliminary results of some of these initiatives can be found below.

Medizinische Universität Wien (MUW)

Data from the first wave of the survey “Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and (capability) well-being in Austria“ conducted by the Department of Health Economics have been analysed and a research article presenting findings of the study has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Our results suggest that with respect to vulnerable groups in Austria, the negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown were strongest for people with a history of mental health treatment showing significant reduction of their capability well-being. Furthermore, direct Covid-19 experience was associated with higher levels of anxiety and lower mental health (capability) well-being, and being ‘at risk’ due to age and/or physical ill-health was associated with significant capability deprivations. We also found that significant capability reductions were observed in association with increased levels of depression and anxiety, and significantly higher capability levels were associated with higher levels of social support. Our policy recommendations include two main points. Firstly, to protect the most vulnerable group from the negative impacts of the pandemic, patients with a history of mental health treatment should have continuous and unrestricted access to mental health services also during periods of national lockdown. Secondly, in future public health policies decision makers should give special attention to improving social support levels to increase public resilience.

As a new partial lockdown has been imposed on Austrian residents from November 3, a second wave of the study is being conducted to explore its effects as well as long-term effects of this pandemic on capabilities, mental health and overall well-being.

Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)

The UKE team participated in two waves (waves 8 and 16) of a COVID-19-related survey under the COSMO — COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring, a joint project of the University of Erfurt, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and others.

Topics of the UKE team included health service use during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as attitudes towards the economic costs of the measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany. Descriptive results are available at COSMO-website. Several manuscripts have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (EUR)

A cross-sectional study aiming to assess the impact of working from home on productivity of paid and unpaid work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Included participants are adults who had paid work before the outbreak and now work from home at least four hours per week. Additionally, the study explores the (mental) quality of life and well-being of participants and the relation to changes in the work situation during the COVID-19 crisis.

The first results of the study will be presented at the Wittgenstein Centre Conference 2020 “ Demographic Aspects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Consequences” , where our poster “Productivity related to paid and unpaid work during COVID-19 pandemic” was accepted for a presentation.

Servicio Canario de la Salud (SESCS)

SESCS is participating in the following two new research activities, which have also an economic component in their methods.

  • Use of ozone for the elimination of SARS-CoV-2 in utensils of risk and of difficult or laborious cleaning;
  • Socio-health needs identified during the trajectory of care for people with COVID-19 in Spain: cross-sectional mixed study.

Besides, the research activities below are still ongoing:

  • Clinical characterization of COVID-19 infection: prognostic stratification and complications (collaboration of 6 Spanish institutions)
  • SESCS is contributing to an international project "Live map of COVID-19 evidence", coordinated by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The project provides an overview of scientific publications on COVID-19 categorised and parsed into more specific subgroups, providing quick access to specific topic-relevant publications to decision makers and researcher.

Asociación Científica Psicost (Psicost)

COVID-19 Webinar series

Professor Luis Salvador-Carulla led the webinar series “The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health” from 27 March to 30 June, 2020. Experts from around the world shared their lived experience of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health services and community wellbeing. The webinars were organized by the Centre for Mental Health Research, VIDEA, and ConNetica Consulting.

During November and December 2020, Professor Salvador-Carulla co-chairs a five-part webinar series ‘The public health impact of COVID-19 in Latin America’, organized by the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, Centre for Mental Health Research In collaboration with University of Newcastle, University of Notre Dame, Sydney University Research Community for Latin America & University of NSW.

COVID-19 Publications

University of Bristol (UnivBris)

Members of the UnivBris team are conducting a Comparison of healthcare costs and benefits of the UK’s COVID-19 response with four European countries. This project estimates the healthcare benefits (cases and deaths prevented), savings (hospitalisations avoided) of Government social distancing measures in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Sweden and compares them with the GDP losses which might be attributed to Government intervention.