Last updated: 18 January 2021
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritising research to improve our understanding of coronavirus, how it spreads, how it affects different populations, how it can best be managed in the community, and how primary health care services can and should respond.
We are working with local and national partners, as well as with experts in epidemiology, infectious disease transmission, mathematical modelling, vaccination, social sciences and public health from across the University of Bristol.
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- Recruiting studies
- Patient and public involvement in COVID-19 research
- Media coverage
This is a summary of COVID-19 research projects led by or involving researchers from the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC), at the University of Bristol.
Active Pleisure in Lockdown: Exploring the effects of COVID-19 on physical activity, mental health and environmental engagement in Bristol and its surrounding areas (Martin Hurcombe and Melanie Chalder). Funded by Research England. Start date: 1 December 2020. End date: 31 March 2021.
Adherence to, and impact of, self- and supported-isolation: Assess factors associated with adherence to guidelines to self-isolate when ill, when returning to the UK from abroad, and staying at home when well. (Oliver, Lambert, Hickman, Yardley, Amlôt, Rubin, James, Zhang, Lasseter) Funder: BSEUKRI (£400,000).
A mixed methods evaluation of advice on isolation and health-seeking to contain transmission. (Oliver, Lambert, Hickman, Yardley, Amlôt, Rubin, Zhang). Funder: UKRI (£400,000). Start-End dates: 30/3/2020-29/09/2021
Bristol UNCOVER (Bristol COVID Emergency Research) Group: A group of Bristol researchers united to collaborate on finding ways to overcome the disease. (Led by Adam Finn and includes various other researchers). Funder: N/A. Ongoing
Care of housebound patients in primary care (The CHIP study): Characterising older housebound patients and delivery of general practice care pre and post-COVID-19: A proof of concept study using the Primary care Academic CollaboraTive (PACT) model (Duncan et al.). Funder: RCGP SFB. Starts September 2020.
Diagnosis and management of infectious disease in primary care during the COVID-19 lockdown: changes in antibacterial and antiviral use. Funder: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Rapid Response COVID-19 scheme £4,500.
Effectiveness, acceptability and impact of public health advice during the containment and delay phases of the COVID-19 response: Mixed methods assessment of advice to self-isolate or social distance in terms of its acceptability, adherence and impact on health and wellbeing. (Oliver, Rubin, Robin, Reynolds, Amlôt, Yardley, Hickman, Lambert, Zhang, Cai).
Effects of lockdown and changes in delivery of care on opioid dependent individuals. Natural experiment using mixed methods to investigate the effects of changes in primary care associated with lockdown on morbidity and mortality in opioid dependent individuals. (Scott, Macleod, Hickman). Funder: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute and NIHR.
Epidemiology of COVID-19 in primary care: Real-time CCG/One Care data. (Duncan, Hay). Co-I: CCG and One Care.
Examining the effect of social distancing measures on regional variation in the spreading of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in England. (Tammes). Funder: University of Bristol.
Hot and Cold Hubs project. A review of the use of hot and cold hubs and other face-to-face models of consultation in primary care during COVID-19. (Duncan L., Huntley A., Cheng K.). Funder: N/A. University of Bristol Medical School Year 3 Student Choice project. Ongoing/ Student Choice project 08-06-20 to 03-07-20.
Impact of social distancing advice during the containment and delay phases of COVID-19. Public Health England are evaluating the effectiveness, acceptability and impact of advice to shield in a sample of 300 clinically vulnerable people in the South West. (Spottiswoode, Kenward, Robin, Oliver, Hickman).
Implementation of a digital behavioural change intervention to improve hand hygiene: evaluation in UK and China of how ‘Germ Defence’ (www.germdefence.org) can be rapidly adapted and optimised for the COVID-19 outbreak, using novel participatory-co-design methods. (Yardley, et al). Funder: UKRI (£200,000).
Mass antibody testing programme evaluation. Evaluate point of care (POC) anitibody test kits to assess accuracy in the population, and understand the usability and feasibility of the home-based roll out of the programme (Oliver, Mulchandani, Wyllie, Jones, Chartlett, Hickman, Brooks, Taylor-Phillips, Albrow, Ades, Walker).
Mental Health Pathfinder. This pathfinder award has been re-purposed to include a COVID-specific ALSPAC questionnaire to look at effects on mental health in linked data. (Macleod). Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC).
Optimising the telephone management of people affected or at risk of COVID-19 infection via NHS 111 services. (Barnes). Funder: NIHR School for Primary Care Research.
Patients living with dementia who 'walk with purpose or intent' in the COVID-19 crisis. Rapid Evidence Review. (Huntley, Cheston, Corse, Munafo). Funder: NIHR ARC West. Completed.
Primary Care implementation of Germ Defence: A digital behaviour change intervention to improve infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic (Jeremy Horwood, Melanie Chalder, Pippa Craggs, John MacLeod, Paul Little, Ben Ainsworth, Beth Stuart, James Denison-Day, Lucy Yardley, Mike Moore, Merlin Willcox). Funded by UKRI and NIHR ARCWest. Start date: 1 April 2020. End date: 31 December 2021.
Primary care response to domestic violence and abuse in the COVID-19 pandemic: interrupted time series and qualitative study (PRECODE). (Feder, Szilassy, Barbosa, Lewis, Griffiths, Dowrick, Panovska-Griffiths). Funder: UKRI-MRC £262,804. Start/end dates: 14/11/2020-14/11/2021.
Rapid COVID-19 Intelligence to improve primary care response (RAPCI). (Murphy, Horwood, Salisbury, MacLeod, Denholm). Funder: NIHR School for Primary Care Research (£40,000.00) Start-End dates: 01/04/2020-31/08/2020
Rapid Covid-19 evidence summaries: A group of Bristol researchers are reviewing evidence to help inform decision-making and to support strategic responses to COVID-19. (Horwood). Co-ordinated by NIHR ARC West.
Rapid review of how health and social care professionals in the community can best support patients’ advance care planning in the context of COVID-19. (Selman, Pocock)
Reducing the risks from coronavirus transmission in the home - the role of viral load. (Yardley). Analysis published in the BMJ.
REPROVIDE Study - randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a group intervention for men who are concerned about their abusive behaviour in relationships with women. (Feder). Funder: National Institute for Health Research. This study has been awarded Urgent Public health Research National Priority Status during COVID-19.
Review of the public perception of advance care planning during COVID-19, as expressed on Twitter. (Selman, Chamberlain, Pocock).
SATS (Self-assessment to support self-care) for COVID-19. Investigating remote monitoring of patient recorded vital signs. (Creavin). Funder: RCF BNSSG CCG Research & Development £39,000. Start/end dates: 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021.
Social contacts and mixing patterns under COVID19 social distancing measures: Estimating social contacts and mixing patterns in older people under the current social distancing policies in place to address COVID19. (Christensen) Funder: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (EBI) £3,350.00. Start-End dates: 27/04/2020-31/05/2020
South West Better Care Partnership. Four projects based on the BNSSG systemwide data set on predicting admission to ICU and subsequent outcomes; reducing antimicrobial resistance; rescheduling elective surgery post disruption; and optimising the interface betwen social care and health care. (Sterne, Macleod). Funder: Health Data Research UK (HDR UK).
Supporting people bereaved during COVID-19: a mixed methods study of bereaved people's experiences and the bereavement services supporting them (Harrop, Selman (Co-PIs), Longo, Nelson, Byrne, Seddon). Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Start-End Dates: 1/8/2020-31/1/2021
The demand for home visiting services since the COVID-19 lockdown. A review of the literature. (Duncan, Elwenspoek) Funder: NIHR ARC West and University of Bristol. Completed.
The effects of funeral practices on bereaved friends and relatives' mental health and bereavement: implications for COVID-19. Rapid Evidence Review. (Selman, Burrell). Funder: NIHR ARC West. Completed.
Timing to implement hot and cold sites in primary care. Rapid Evidence Review. (Thom, Watson). Funder: NIHR ARC West. Completed.
Understanding the impact on, and experiences of, young people during the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative work to understand the impact on, and experiences of, young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Fisher, Audrey, Hickman, Yardley, Lambert). Funder: EBI (£4,626). Start-End dates: 01/05/2020-31/12/2020
Use of digital technologies and self-reported loneliness by older individuals self-isolating during COVID-19. (Lasseter, Christensen, Grant, Sauchelli, Toran). Funder: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute (EBI).
Using linked primary care and viral surveillance data to develop risk stratification models to inform management of severe COVID-19: (Payne, Kontopantelis, Mant, Denholm, Cooper, Forbes, Herbert, Tammes). Funder: NIHR School for Primary Care Research. Start-End Dates: 20/04/2020-20/10/2020
Virtual multidisciplinary team meetings for the older population. Rapid Evidence Review. (Sillero Rejon, McLeod, Huntley). Funder: ARC West. Completed.
Wider collateral damage to children in the UK because of the social distancing measures designed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in adults. (Crawley). Editorial in BMJ Paediatrics Open. Published.
See the following web pages for COVID-19 related publications by CAPC researchers.
Although many of our non-COVID-19 research projects have been put on hold due to the pandemic, some are able to continue and are actively encouraging members of the public to take part. Where possible, these studies will be collecting data to help us understand the impact of the virus.
- Building resilience in the forgotten heroes
- IRIS+ (Enhanced Identification and Referral to Improve Safety)
- REPROVIDE Workstream II: group intervention for men (trial of a domestic abuse group programme)
- The YARAH Study: Young Adult Relationships and Health
Patient and public involvement (PPI) in COVID-19 research
PPI meetings and consultations are continuing, despite the current challenges.
PPI input is as valuable now as it always has been. We are continuing to liaise with our PPI contributors, recruit new contributors and engage them in new projects, as well as continuing with existing PPI groups. We are receiving PPI contributions in a variety of ways including:
- virtual PPI meetings – either by video or teleconference
- feedback from individual PPI contributors over the phone, or email
- written email feedback on research ideas, problems and written material.
Julie Clayton and Victoria Wilson, the CAPC PPI co-ordinators, are keeping in touch with contributors with new developments, links to training and project related information. They are continuing to support patient and public involvement in our research by:
- arranging and supporting PPI meetings
- writing new guidance materials for PPI work
- circulating new guidance materials
- planning future engagement events.
They are also in touch with other PPI leads from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research and across Bristol, so that they can update contributors and researchers with any new PPI developments and guidance.
- BBC Radio 4 PM [listen at 41:29 in]. Are COVID lockdown rules getting through to people? Professor Lucy Yardley. 15 January 2021
- MailOnline. Rush-hour traffic in London hits its highest level during third lockdown as key workers continue to commute to work. Professor Lucy Yardley. 12 January 2021.
- HuffPost. How to tweak your Christmas plans to minimise the spread of COVID. Professor Lucy Yardley. 16 December 2020.
- Metro. 10 ways to keep your Christmas bubble as safe as possible. Professor Lucy Yardley. 15 December 2020.
- BBC Points West. Roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in GP practices. Dr Lucy Pocock. 8 December.
- BBC Radio Bristol. Roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in GP practices. Dr Lucy Pocock. 3 and 8 December.
- MailOnline, Mirror, The Sun. SAGE scientist says people should spend less than 15 minutes in shops. Professor Lucy Yardley. 29 November 2020
- Sky News. Interim findings from study about bereavement during Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Lucy Selman.28 November 2020
- The Guardian, ITV News at Ten, ITV News. UK's 2.6m Covid bereaved suffer heightened grief, finds study. Dr Lucy Selman. 26 November 2020
- Evening Standard. HospoDemo: Second protest announced as hospitality industry demands fairer treatment. Professor Lucy Yardley. 25 November 2020
- Independent, Coronavirus: Homes could be riskier than pubs for spreading virus, Sage scientist warns. Professor Lucy Yardley. 24 November 2020
- The Sun. How to have a safe Christmas with family – and reduce the risk of coronavirus. Professor Lucy Yardley and Professor Gabriel Scally. 24 November 2020
- BBC Radio 4 Today [listen at 1:33:24 in]. What is the messaging to keep people safe over Christmas and during winter. Professor Lucy Yardley. 24 November 2020
- The Telegraph. How the Government's mass Covid testing plan will work. Dsr Jessica Watson and Penny Whiting. 24 November 2020
BBC Radio 4 World at One [listen at 18:15 in]. How can people across the country be persuaded to get tested and self-isolate? Professor Lucy Yardley. 3 November 2020
- Epigram. Study investigates inequality in COVID-19 bereavement support for BAME families. Dr Lucy Selman. 1 November 2020
- ITV News West Country. Social isolation makes dealing with grief harder than ever, new Bristol University study finds. Dr Lucy Selman. 30 October 2020
- Sky News. Coronavirus rules in England aren't working, scientists say - with 96,000 a day getting COVID. Professor Helen Lambert. 29 October 2020
- BBC news online. Bristol grief festival to examine bereavement by Covid. Dr Lucy Selman. 28 October 2020
- Daily Mail. Backlash as police get test and trace data. Professor Lucy Yardley. 19 October 2020
- BBC1 The Andrew Marr Show [watch at 25:18 in]. Are people following COVID rules or being complacent? Professor Lucy Yardley. 18 October 2020
- BristolLive. Bristol University professor fears people will be 'afraid' to report coronavirus symptoms due to huge fines. Professor Lucy Yardley. 18 October 2020
- The Irish News. Coronavirus and vaccination: Why a flu jab could also protect you against Covid. Dr Rupert Payne. 15 October 2020
- ITV News. Decision not to adopt Sage advice put UK 'three weeks behind' in Covid fight, member says. Professor Lucy Yardley. 13 October 2020
- New York Post. COVID-19 victims' autopsies detect virus in eyeballs. Dr Denize Atan. 13 October 2020
- Bristol 24/7. Grief festvial to take place online. Dr Lucy Selman. 12 October 2020
- The Guardian. 'Not ordinary grief': bereavement festival attracts thousands. Dr Lucy Selman. 11 October 2020
BBC News. Why is there, according to research, a substantial proportion of people who are quite prepared to just ignore the rules. Professor Lucy Yardley. 30 September 2020
- Sky News. Latest measures and statistics in the fight against coronavirus. Professor Lucy Yardley. 30 September 2020
- BBC Radio 4 Today programme [listen at 1:37:00 in]. Are people following the COVID guidance? Professor Lucy Yardley. 30 September 2020
- The Telegraph. Boris Johnson says 'we won't throw in the sponge' amid 'clear local peaks'. Professor Lucy Yardley. 29 September 2020
- Daily Mail. Ibuprofen does not increase risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, study finds as scientists say there is 'no reason' people with the virus shouldn't take the painkiller. Dr Rupert Payne. 8 September 2020
- Sky news. Bereavement during COVID-19. Dr Lucy Selman. 5 September 2020.
- Insurance Post. Analysis: Returning the dead to rest - a pandemic repatriation problem. Dr Lucy Selman. 11 August 2020.
- BBC Points West. Remote GP consulations during COVID-19. Dr Lucy Pocock. 10 August 2020.
Dr Lucy Pocock was interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol about remote consultations with GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 10 August 2020
BBC Radio 4 today programme. Issues faced by COVID-19 self-isolation. Professor Lucy Yardley. 7 August 2020.
Throughout COVID-19 the BJGP has been publishing brief reports on innovations on the BJGP COVID-19 Clinical Solutions rapid communications platform. There are now around 30 reports sharing good practice, new processes, and practical ideas to help improve care during the pandemic.
Dr Rachel Johnson has been through them and picks out some of the ones that have caught her eye.
15 July 2020
- The Conversation. Care homes have long been neglected – the pandemic has shown us how bad things are. Dr Lucy Pocock. 8 July 2020
- BBC News online. Coronavirus: Am I eligible for a test? Dr Jessica Watson. 7 July 2020
- BBC Radio 4 Today [listen at 1:16 in]. Assessing personal risk for COVID. Professor Lucy Yardley. 4 July 2020
BBC Two Newsnight: Is England easing the lockdown safely? Prof Lucy Yardley. 22 June 2020
Mail Online. NHS staff must be tested 'twice a week' for COVID. Dr Jessica Watson. 17 June 2020
New Scientist. Lack of UK testing data is impeding our understanding of the outbreak. Dr Jessica Watson.8 June 2020
BBC Radio 4's More or Less. False negatives and testing capacity. Dr Jessica Watson. 3 June 2020
- BBC News online. Coronavirus: One in five with Covid could test negative. Dr Jessica Watson. 3 June 2020
- Doctors condemn secrecy over false negative Covid-19 tests. The Guardian and The Sun. References the BMJ article 'Interpreting a covid-19 test result' by Dr Jessica Watson (quoted). 25 May 2020
- BBC News 24. Best practice in keeping coronavirus at bay in the home. Professor Lucy Yardley. 20 May 2020BBC
Radio Bristol Breakfast. Bereavement during COVID-19. Dr Lucy Selman. 14 May 2020
- Roll-out of 'Germ Defence' website to help public transition to 'new normal' developed by Prof Lucy Yardley and colleagues at Bath University and University of Southampton covered in Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Northern Echo, Radio 5 Live, Sky News, Channel 5. 11 May 2020.
- COVID-19: Understanding which patients are at the greatest risk of harm. New study by Dr Rupert Payne. Coverage in: Health Business, MyScience, Epigram, Mirage News. 11 May 2020
- ITV.com. Partial list of SAGE membership list released by government following pressure. Professor Lucy Yardley. 4 May 2020
- Professor Lucy Yardley was interviewed on BBC's News at Ten on the main options for the gradual easing of the lockdown. 27 April 2020
- Karen Morgan interviewed in Bristol Cable about REPROVIDE study in the context of increased domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown. 24 April 2020
- How coronavirus has transformed the grieving process by Lucy Selman (originally published in The Conversation) 17 April 2020 - Coverage in: Sky News, Scottish World Economic Forum Blog, Metro, Sputnik International, Al Jazirah, Western Daily Press, Heart Radio.
- Coronavirus: how accurate are coronavirus test? by Jessica Watson and Penny Whiting (originally published in The Conversation) 16 April 2020 - Coverage in: Asia Times, The National Interest, Snopes.com, EconoTimes, Newcastle Advertiser
- Helen Cramer was interviewed about REPROVIDE intervention for men on BBC Points West in the context of increased domestic abuse during COVID-19 lockdown. 6 April 2020
- Gene Feder was interviewed by Channel News Asia (2 April 2020) and BBC Radio Bristol about the increase in domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown
- Alison Gregory wrote a blog post and recorded a podcast for SafeLives about what friends and family can do to help women experiencing domestic violence and abuse during COVID-19 lockdown. (April 2020)
- The Conversation: What we know about ACE inhibitors, high blood pressure and COVID-19. Dr Rupert Payne. 25 March 2020
- Esquire: What Am I Actually Allowed To Do Now? An Expert Decodes The Coronavirus Lockdown Rules. Professor Lucy Yardley. 24 March 2020
- British Medical Journal: How can we involve communities in managing the covid-19 pandemic? Professor Lucy Yardley. 17 March 2020
- LBC: The psychology behind self-isolation. Professor Lucy Yardley. 13 March 2020
- The Daily Telegraph: Coronavirus: Is it time to stop using public transport? Professor Lucy Yardley. 10 March 2020
- British Medical Journal: Should we wave goodbye to the handshake? Professor Lucy Yardley. 10 March 2020
- See also: University of Bristol COVID-19 related media coverage