The COVID-19 Wellbeing Study
Perceived coercion and psychological wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Psychology & Language Sciences / Science & Technology Studies 

Name and Contact Details of the Researcher(s):
Dr Veronica Ranieri T: +447474187218 E:
Ms Andrea Stoltenberg T: +447858923670 E:
Prof Sarah Edwards E:
Prof Sunjeev Kamboj E:

Name and Contact Details of the UCL Data Protection Officer: Alexandra Potts

The study has been approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee as application 7335/004


You are being invited to take part in a research project. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what participation will involve. Please take your time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. The data collected for this project will also form part of a clinical psychology doctoral thesis for Veronica Ranieri and Andrea Stoltenberg. Thank you for reading this.

1. What is the project’s purpose?
The aim of the study is to understand the lived experiences of those who have been placed under governmental lockdown or have worked as key workers working during the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to primarily understand how these experiences, and other background factors, have impacted on your perceptions of coercion and psychological wellbeing resulting from the lockdown or working as a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous research has identified that an individual’s perceptions or appraisal of a situation may impact on their psychological wellbeing and coping mechanisms. When a situation is perceived negatively, it can lead to experiences of psychological distress and differences in the type or frequency of coping mechanisms we use to help manage the situation. We are, therefore, interested in how you experienced the extent to which you perceived the lockdown as coercive or pressured, and your psychological wellbeing.

2. Why have I been chosen?
We are inviting you to take part as someone who has experienced governmental lockdown or has worked as a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are inviting all individuals aged 18 years or older who have experienced governmental lockdown or have worked as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and are ordinarily resident in the UK, Italy or Norway to participate.

3. Do I have to take part?
Participation in this study is voluntary. You may discontinue participating in the survey at any time without giving a reason by leaving the survey’s webpage. Your data will only be stored should you complete the survey.

4. What will happen to me if I take part?
If you would like to take part, we would ask that you fill in the online survey over the next few pages. The survey will ask questions relating to perceived coercion, psychological wellbeing, coping mechanisms, costs and healthcare usage and questions about your circumstances. We think that it may take you twenty minutes to fill it out.

We would also like to invite you to repeat part of the survey (looking at perceived coercion, psychological wellbeing and coping only), and an online focus group or one-time interview to better understand your experiences. If you would like to take part in the second part of the study, please include your email address on the last page of the online survey. We will store email addresses separately from the survey data and will contact you using the email address you provide at a later time.

5. What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
We do not expect that taking part in this survey will place you at risk of harm. However, you may feel some emotional distress during or after the survey due to the nature of the topic. Should you experience significant distress, arising during or as a consequence of the research, please tell us. We will urge you to contact a health professional such as your General Practitioner and can redirect you to services available in your area. On our website you will also be able to find multiple contact details for organisations providing support, such as the Samaritans on 116 123; SANEline on 0300 304 7000 and the The Mix for those under 25, on 0808 808 4994.

6. What are the possible benefits of taking part?
Whilst there are no immediate benefits for those people participating in the project, it is hoped that this work will help shape future clinical practice, government policy, and research, in relation to supporting individuals during pandemics.

7. What if something goes wrong?
Should you encounter any difficulties during the online survey, please contact Veronica at or Andrea at

Should you have queries regarding the overall conduct of the study, please contact Sarah at or Sunjeev at

Should you feel that your concern is not adequately addressed by the research team and wish to raise a complaint, please contact the Chair of the UCL Research Ethics Committee at

8. Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?
All the information that we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. You will not be able to be identified in any ensuing reports or publications. Any identifiable information (ie. your email) will be stored on UCL’s Data Safe Haven, a GDPR-compliant, encrypted system for the duration of the study. The data will be analysed by the research team.

9. What will happen to the results of the research project?
The results of this research may feature in peer-reviewed publications, national or international conferences or media. You will not be identifiable in any ensuing reports or publications. We will add any outputs from the study onto our website for you to access once analysed and written.

10. What if I change my mind and would like to withdraw my information?
As this is an anonymous survey, we will be unable to identify your data from it to withdraw it. If you have left your email address in the final page to take part in a follow-up survey or qualitative sub-study, we can delete your email address from our records at any time. Should you wish to withdraw your email address, please email this request in writing to Veronica at or Andrea at

11. Local Data Protection Privacy Notice

The controller for this project will be University College London (UCL). The UCL Data Protection Officer provides oversight of UCL activities involving the processing of personal data, and can be contacted at

This ‘local’ privacy notice sets out the information that applies to this particular study. Further information on how UCL uses participant information can be found in our ‘general’ privacy notice found at

The information that is required to be provided to participants under data protection legislation (GDPR and DPA 2018) is provided across both the ‘local’ and ‘general’ privacy notices.

The categories of personal data used will be as follows: age, geographical region, employment status and household income, psychological and physical health, and healthcare resource usage

The lawful basis that would be used to process your personal data will be performance of a task in the public interest. The lawful basis used to process special category personal data will be for scientific and historical research or statistical purposes.

Your personal data will be processed so long as it is required for the research project. We will anonymise all personal data you provide, and will endeavour to minimise the processing of personal data wherever possible.

If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, or if you would like to contact us about your rights, please contact UCL in the first instance at

12. Who is organising and funding the research?
The research is led by researchers at University College London (UCL). UCL is sponsoring the research.

Thank you for reading this information sheet and for considering taking part in this research study.