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Life during lockdown: Experiences, behaviours and perceptions of risk

As restrictions start to be lifted, a team of researchers at Imperial College London are carrying out a follow-on research survey to better understand how communities view the new measures and find out people’s experiences to date.

  • Questionnaire
  • Participate


We are a team of researchers from the Patient Experience Research Centre at Imperial College London. Just prior to lockdown on 23 March 2020, we carried out a national survey (17-18 March 2020) that explored the public’s attitudes to the outbreak and their willingness and ability to follow Government guidance on social distancing and working from home.

To manage the outbreak effectively, it’s important to understand how people are feeling and behaving. Getting people to distance themselves from others, encouraging more frequent hand washing and asking households to self-isolate if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19 are all steps that have been introduced to help slow the spread of the virus. This helps to relieve pressure on healthcare systems and provide researchers more time to understand the virus and develop effective treatments or a vaccine. However, these behaviours are voluntary and people’s willingness and/or ability to do them depend on their circumstances and health status, as highlighted by our previous survey.

As we ease out of lockdown, we want to revisit the public’s views, behaviours and experiences of the COVID-19 outbreak to see how people are feeling and responding today, and how these compare to life before lockdown.

We also work closely with the Imperial College COVID-19 modelling teams who use a variety of data to understand and predict the spread of the outbreak and how best to contain it. Information on people’s movements and contacts can feed into these predictions. Therefore, it’s important to ensure this data accurately reflects the diversity of views and behaviours in the UK.

Volunteer Criteria

This survey is open to anyone who is:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Living in the UK

We hope to use our connections with public advisors and community networks to reach a diverse range of people from across the UK, but are particularly keen to hear from:

  • People who have been shielding or advised to shield (stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact) due to being at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus
  • People who live with a chronic condition
  • People who may not have previously taken part in research
  • Anyone else who is being heavily affected by the outbreak

These views are very important to the COVID-19 outbreak but often underrepresented in research. Please share this survey with friends, family and others you know to help us reach a wide range of people.

What will I be asked to do?

We are inviting you to take part in an anonymous online survey as part of our research project. The survey takes 20–30 minutes to complete.

Topics covered include:

  • Current health and well-being
  • Attitudes to risk and the steps you are taking to protect yourself and others
  • Number of recent contacts (with different people)
  • Experiences of shielding (if relevant)
  • Thoughts on self-isolation and the Test and Trace programme
  • Engagement with science and research
  • About you (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, education level, employment status etc - all optional)

All questions in the research survey are optional and all information will be treated anonymously, confidentially and will never be linked to your identity.

How do I take part?

Please read the Participant Information Sheet v6.2 (click link or see Resources below) to read more details about what’s involved. This will help you decide if you would like to take part.

If you wish to take part, either:

  • ACCESS THE SURVEY HERE (if you are not a VOICE member and do not wish to sign up, for free)

This will take you to the survey (external site) where you will first be asked to consent to take part. If you experience difficulties completing the online survey or would like a word document version emailed to you, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

When will the survey close?

The online survey will close at 11pm on Friday 3 July 2020.

Will I get anything for taking part?

There are no direct benefits to you for taking part in the survey. However, your responses to the survey will provide important information to help us understand how people are feeling and responding, including whether certain groups are more severely affected by the outbreak than others and what people are willing and able to do to limit the spread. This can help improve decisions made about how the UK continues to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more about how Imperial College London is responding to the outbreak

Please note: Imperial College are not in a position to offer health advice. For all personal health and travel guidance relating to coronavirus, please visit the following sites for up-to-date health advice and guidance:

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