Case study

CovidLife National Survey

Giving the chance to the Scottish and North West London based population to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic


CovidLife survey was designed, by the Generation Scotland team supported by the Wellcome Trust and the University of Edinburgh. The survey was a result of an urgent need to recruit volunteers to COVID-19 research studies. The survey collected data on personal and household information and measures of psychological, social, and economic status before, during and after the implementation of UK Government measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional questions were included to collect data on social and economic impacts specific to the outbreak.

Aim of Research

The purpose is to measure, analyse and report on the immediate and longer health impacts of these measures over and above the infection itself. Data will be summarised and posted on-line, shared with stakeholders and policy makers, and published in peer-reviewed, open access journals.

In addition, the results of the survey are fed into the both the UK and Scottish SAGE groups and he will receive results of the survey as they become available so that it can inform government planning as lockdown lifts and after the pandemic has passed.

After COVID-19 has passed, some will be able to get back on their feet quickly, but others might not. This online survey looks to explore how people are feeling and coping. This will allow the government and health bodies to think about what to plan for and how to prepare for the future.


The CovidLife survey was launched on 17 April in Scotland. The team at generation Scotland selected the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE) to invite their >80,000 registrants to take part and have the opportunity to fight against the pandemic. By 7th of May over 10,000 volunteers from the SHARE register completed the survey. The response from the Scottish population was very positive and many people who were not yet in the register signed up. The website and social media pages promoted CovidLife.

Generation Scotland considered reaching out to other regions across the UK and contacted the North West London Health Research Register at Discover in mid-May. The NWL Health Research Register is a disease agnostic register for anyone 18+ that lives in NWL and it currently has over 6000 registrants. The team at Discover prioritised the survey and reached approval withing a week of submitting the application to the COVID-19 Prioritisation group that ensures appropriate research access to the North West London dataset to ensure clinical priorities are met as part of the sector-wide response to Covid-19. By 12th o June just under 300 registrants from NWL completed the survey with possibly more across England as a result of a coordinated social media campaign across the NWL Health Research networks including the 8 Clinical Commissioning Groups, the local CRNs and borough health bodies such as the Healthwatch.


The initial results of the survey highlight the way in which the ‘lockdown’ measures have raised major concerns about future employment and the economy. Unsurprisingly, these worries are felt most by young adults and are accompanied by high levels of anxiety and depression. Good mental health and wellbeing are very important for long term physical health and vice versa. To read the full report from the initial findings of the CovidLife survey please click here

The survey has now closed and it will soon enter phase 2 and follow up with those volunteers that have participated during the first phase

“This is the first project where SHARE and DISCOVER (a franchise of SHARE) have taken part jointly. There is strength in the numbers and versatility of our 2-centre combined register. SHARE was established over 10 years ago and to date has facilitated recruitment to over 120 projects. With over 290,000 registrants from across Scotland SHARE is able to assist in a variety of ways, including identification and selection of PPI groups, and as in this case a mailout of an online survey. SHARE and Generation Scotland have collaborated on many projects and we look forward to the results of this important one.”

SHARE Testimonial

“It is just over two years that the NWL Health Research Register was launched within Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) with the aim to support a collaborative approach to research, so that we can ensure we are helping to facilitate research that best serves both the NHS and the needs of our population in NWL. Under the current pandemic, was delighted that the register was selected to help gain a better understanding in the impact of the virus on key aspects of the population’s life. I am very much looking forward to the outcomes of the survey and happy to continue supporting it with the participation of the population across NWL.”

NWL Health Research Register Team Testimonial