Two professors at Tusculum University are requesting community participation in an online survey to help them study the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release from the university said.
Dr. Kate Smith, an associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Hollie Pellosmaa, an assistant professor of psychology, are seeking at least 200 participants in the survey, which is available until 11:59 p.m. on Monday. Anyone who is 18 or older is eligible to participate.
“The study is composed of a host of measures that look at a wide variety of topics, including health behaviors, mental health outcomes, economic security and social factors,” Smith said. “We hope to collect data over 18 months to get a better idea on the long-term effects of the pandemic. By seeking the community’s assistance, we will not only receive an ample sample of voices but learn firsthand how the coronavirus has shaped people’s lives.”
Smith and Pellosmaa will issue other surveys as their research progresses, the release said.
“The immediate goal of our findings would be to detail the exact impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the community,” Smith said. “From there, the hope would be to use this knowledge to identify issues people are experiencing. Various professionals might then be able to assist in the recovery process, which, in some instances, could be lengthy. Finally, this study may potentially recommend topics for policy makers to examine to help plan for future events of this nature. Identifying vulnerabilities during such emergencies can only help us provide better relief in the future.”
Smith said she and Pellosmaa plan to present findings from their research at psychology conferences and publish them in professional journals. She said they would also be pleased to discuss general results with the community.
All individual information from the survey will be kept confidential, and research findings will be presented in reports and public presentations as group data only, the release said.
“Dr. Smith and Dr. Pellosmaa have demonstrated excellent scholarship during their careers, and this research project will provide a valuable service in helping communities and the region understand how the coronavirus has altered people’s lives,” said Dr. Heather Henson-Ramsey, dean of the College of Science, Technology and Mathematics. “We welcome the opportunity to engage with communities throughout the region on this major public health topic and thank people who will participate in the surveys.”
The survey can be accessed at https://ws.tusculum.edu/survey/index.php/141124?lang=en and participants then will be entered into a drawing to win one of three Amazon gift cards, the release said.
The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete.