The Norwegian COVID-19, Mental Health and Adherence Project
This project is a large-scale epidemiological investigation examining the impact of non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) employed against the COVID-19 virus on mental health. The project further investigates factors associated with adherence to concurrently employed NPIs.
About the project
The aim of the project is to:
• Inform the policymakers, the general public, scientists, and health practitioners about the psychological associations of the COVID-19-related government-initiated measures.
• Provide a foundation for policymakers and health-care professionals to employ interventions that protect the general public against possibly increased psychological stressors, suffering and dysfunction during society’s handling of the pandemic.
• Help policymakers better understand the associations of demographic variables and psychological symptoms with adherence, providing an initial understanding of adherence rates, which may be used to help society fight against the COVID-19-virus from an epidemiological perspective by promoting factors that increase adherence.
• The project further entails studies investigating the mental health status and trauma symptoms in vulnerable demographic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, including health-care professionals, politicians and social workers.
The project is led by researchers from the University of Oslo and Modum Bad Hospital.The project description, analysis plan and its ethical aspects was approved by The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (reference number: 125510) and the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (reference number: 802810) on the 25th of March 2020.
Data collection begun on the 31st of March 2020, two weeks after non-pharmacological interventions were put in practice nationally in Norway against the COVID-19 virus.
Longitudinal and high-dimensional data on around 10 000 participants are collected to date (May 2021) with 46 measurement time-points across a 1.5 year period across all major infection waves of the pandemic.
Additionally, 5 major data collections are conducted with the goal of inspecting robust associations of mental health with pandemic mitigation protocols, where data at each wave is collected approximately two weeks following modification of pandemic mitigation protocols. Furthermore, the study is designed to keep expectation effects constanst, with a stopping rule implemented in the design to immediately end data collection if any new information is provided by the government during data collection concerning forthcoming changes of pandemic protocols.