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COVID-19 Diary project

Why this research is a priority

COVID-19 is affecting the lives of individuals and communities across the world. We wanted to understand how people in the North West Coast region were affected and how best to capture this information in real-time, as it happened, when traditional research methods were not practical. Our study aimed to test out a solicited diary method to gather public insights and experiences of how the COVID-19 was affecting individuals and daily life in local communities.

About the project

All ARC-NWC Public Advisers were contacted to see if they would like to take part in the Diary Project. Fifteen Advisers signed up and all completed the Diary Project.

Each diarist was teamed up with an EPHC researcher. They completed a telephone or video call induction and then an online diary for 8 weeks from 20th April to 14th June 2020. Each week the diarist and researcher also had a catch-up call. At the end of the 8 weeks, diarists were invited to an online focus group to explore their experience of the project before researchers examined all of the information collected using NVIVO12 data analysis software. Diarists then took part in an online workshop to discuss emerging themes in August 2020. Ethical approval for the study was granted from Lancaster University Faculty of Health and Medicine’s Ethics Committee in April 2020.

Key outputs

Since the project completed, the findings have been presented to national, regional and local audiences and have featured in media coverage. The findings are also being written up as two journal papers, focusing on the effects of the pandemic on emotional health and community responses to the pandemic.

A series of research summaries on key findings are available now:

Same storm, different boats? Experience of lockdown rules during COVID-19 – findings from a diary project

Use of remote technology in research – Findings from the EPHC Diary Project

Mental health and COVID-19 – findings from a diary project


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