Tracking the Irish adult population during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: A methodological report of the COVID-19 psychological research consortium (C19PRC) study in Ireland

Eric Spikol, Orla Mcbride, Frédérique Vallières, Sarah Butter, Philip Hyland

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Abstract

The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) study was established to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the population of multiple countries. Here, we provide a methodological overview, cohort profile, data access, and summary of key findings from the Republic of Ireland arm of the C19PRC study. A longitudinal internet panel survey was designed to collect data from a nationally representative sample of Irish adults (N = 1041) who were tracked from March/April 2020 to March/April 2021. Quota sampling methods were used to produce a sample that was representative of the population with respect to sex, age, and regional distribution. Data were collected in five waves, and new participants were recruited at follow-up waves to cover sample attrition and produce nationally representative samples at various points during the first year of the pandemic. A comprehensive battery of measures was used throughout the project to assess an array of sociodemographic, political, social, psychological, physical health, COVID-19, and mental health variables. Analyses were conducted to compare sample characteristic to known population parameters from available census data. These analyses showed that the sample was representative of the general adult population of Ireland on the three quota variables and was reasonable representative of the population across a diverse range of sociodemographic variables. These data representative the first and only nationally representative, longitudinal survey of the mental health of the Irish population. These data are made freely available to interested users (https://osf.io/2huzd/files/) and the findings of this study provide a methodological basis for the future use of these data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103416
Pages (from-to)103416
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume220
Early online date10 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The emergence of the novel severe acute respiratory coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 and the resultant COVID-19 disease pandemic in 2020 posed a threat to the global population as initial attempts to contain the spread of the virus were unsuccessful. In response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers in the Universities of Sheffield and Ulster in the United Kingdom (UK) launched a multinational project in March 2020 called the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) study ( McBride et al., 2021 ). Researchers in Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Ireland joined the C19PRC. The primary goal of the C19PRC was to conduct a longitudinal assessment of the social, political, economic, and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adult population of each nation. A ‘core’ battery of psychological and mental health measures was included in all national surveys however each international branch could tailor their survey to meet specific national needs. The Irish branch of the C19PRC, which is the focus of this paper, received partial funding from the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council under the COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call [COV19-2020-025; see protocol by Hyland & Vallières, 2020 ] to monitor changes in the mental health of the population over the first year of the pandemic (see https://www.mentalhealthasap.com/ ). The Irish branch of the C19PRC collected longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of adults in fives waves between March/April 2020 and March/April 2021. The collection of data on an extensive array of sociodemographic, individual, COVID-19 specific, socio-political, and physical and mental health variables has produced a dataset that will allow researchers to comprehensively examine the pandemic's effects on the adult population of Ireland. This paper is intended to provide a methodological overview of these data, to demonstrate the nationally representative nature of the sample data, to make these data freely available to the scientific community, and to summarise the key findings that have already emerged from these data. It is our hope that this paper will serve as a useful reference point for all parties interested in making use of these data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Methodology
  • Mental Health
  • Mental health
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemics
  • Ireland/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Adult
  • Longitudinal Studies

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