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Improved wellbeing or distress? Measuring the impacts of participation in a COVID-19 survey on participant wellbeing

CollectionsANU Centre for Social Research & Methods
Title: Improved wellbeing or distress? Measuring the impacts of participation in a COVID-19 survey on participant wellbeing
Author(s): Biddle, Nicholas
Edwards, Ben
Herz, Diane
Sollis, Kate
Date published: 2020
Publisher: The Australian National University
Description: 
Given the large social impacts that COVID-19 is currently having on individuals throughout the world, a large amount of social and behavioural research is underway to measure and track those effects. Indeed, there has already been an explosion of new research and data collection. Any kind of social research, whether through quantitative or qualitative methods, has the potential to cause distress and impact on participant wellbeing. While previous literature has illustrated the extent to which research participation can impact distress and wellbeing in a number of contexts, no study that we are aware of has yet examined this in the COVID-19 context. This study attempts to partially fill this gap by undertaking analysis of the impacts of participation in a COVID-19 survey on distress and wellbeing. By using self-reported measures, and through the use of a survey experiment, we find little self-reported distress, and weak evidence of improvements in wellbeing through survey participation. Certain population groups, such as those with mental health concerns and those living in financial insecurity did report greater levels of distress, and worsened wellbeing through completion of the survey. These findings provide the research community (including human research ethics committees) with a deeper understanding of the potential wellbeing impacts of COVID-19-related research participation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/213192



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