The COVIDMENT project was designed to significantly advance current knowledge of mental morbidity trajectories in the COVID-19 pandemic, by utilizing large, data-rich population-based registry resources, biobanks, and ongoing questionnaire data with longitudinal follow-up, biobanks, and COVID-19 cohorts with questionnaire data (est. > 565.144 individuals). This large-scale collaborative project between countries and Estonia has been awarded roughly NOK 13 million in funding by NordForsk for two years (project no. 105668).
The COVIDMENT program brings together leading researchers in the Nordic countries and Estonia through already established collaborations where state-of-the-art methodologies and research infrastructures will be leveraged to elucidate the impact of COVID-19. This program is put forward by an already established, Horizon2020-funded, consortium (CoMorMent; grant no. 847776) using data from national registries, biobanks, and cohorts on psychiatric- and cardiometabolic outcomes for improved understanding of the comorbidities between psychiatric- and cardiometabolic conditions.
The role of preexisting psychiatric disorders in subsequent risk and progression of a COVID-19 infection.
The impact of COVID-19 on short and long-term psychiatric sequel among COVID-19 patients, their families, and frontline workers.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population mental health by the varying national mitigating responses and corresponding COVID-19 related mortality rates.
COVID-19 National Resilience Cohort is a scientific study conducted by the University of Iceland, the Directorate of Health, and the Chief Epidemiologist, with the aim of increasing knowledge about the epidemic’s effects on the well-being and lifestyle of all Icelandic and English speaking individuals 18 years or older who had an Icelandic electronic ID (total population >18 years on January 1, 2020 was 282,770). The study was specifically sent to members in existing cohorts (e.g., the SAGA cohort, iStopMM, and Health and well-being of Icelanders). The cohort currently consists of 22,680 participants who have completed the baseline questionnaire from April 24th 2020 through July 22nd 2020. Participants after the first epidemic wave received invitations to participate again 6 months later and a total of 14,000 of them responded to a second questionnaire from December 2nd 2020 through January 31st 2021. The study was approved by the National Bioethics Committee (NBC no. 20-073) and the Data Protection Authority.
Omtanke2020 started in June 2020 with ethical approval No. 2020-01785, and is an ongoing prospective, longitudinal cohort study with monthly data collection from volunteering participants through online surveys. It is open to participation for all residents of Sweden, who are 18 years or above with electronic/Bank IDs. The language of the survey is Swedish. Participants are recruited either from mass media or through invitations to participants of existing cohorts (LifeGene (N = 2,241), KARMA (N = 5,196, all women), Swedish Twin Registry (N = 3,340)). The recruitment is ongoing, with currently >25,000 signed-up participants. Current descriptives indicate an age range from 18 to 94 years, a majority of women (83%) and participants from all 21 counties with an over-representation of Stockholm county. Until February 2021, up to six waves of follow-ups have been completed (Baseline (N = 23,485), FU1 (N = 16,191), FU2 (N = 7,985), FU3 (N = 5,506), FU4 (N = 3,778), FU5 (N = 1,357)).
The Danish Blood Donor Study (DBDS) is an ongoing national cohort study currently comprising about 120.000 blood donors. To enable prospective studies on long-term health changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, two rounds of questionnaires have been sent out to active or previous blood donors (i.e., individuals>18 years old). The first was sent out during the first epidemic wave on May 16th, 2020. The second was sent out during the second epidemic wave on October 10th, 2020 and a third will be sent out in March 2021. These questionnaires contained items on health, socioeconomic position, attitude towards vaccination, as well as questions asking about behavioral measures taken to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 infection status and specific COVID-19 symptoms. To date, a total of 75,934 individuals have answered at least one of the COVID-19 questionnaires. In addition, all active DBDS donors who have donated blood since October 2020 were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies which currently is the case for ~50.000 of these. The seropositive rate among Danish blood donors was 7.9% (95% CI: 6.8%-8.8%) on February 12th, 2021. Written informed consents were collected from all participants. The study was approved by the Zealand and Central Denmark Regional Committees on Health Research Ethics (M-2009237 and SJ-740) and the Data Protection Agency (P-2019-99).
Norway is establishing a similar initiative in existing cohorts such as MoBa (est. N=115,000) and new data collection (BryDeg2020; est. N=20,000). The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) is a population-based pregnancy cohort study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Participants were recruited from all over Norway from 1999-2008. The women consented to participation in 41% of the pregnancies. The cohort now includes 114,500 children, 95,200 mothers and 75,200 fathers. Since the 27th of March 2020, all adult and adolescent (aged 16-17 years) MoBa participants have been invited to complete short bi-weekly Covid-19 surveys. Several Covid-19 related items have been repeated in every wave of data collection (e.g., reporting of symptoms, diagnoses, and experience of quarantine), while other instruments (e.g., covering mental health and sleep) have been included occationally. Until March 2021, 25 waves of data collection have been completed, including responses from more than 114,000 adults and 25,000 adolescents. The establishment of MoBa and initial data collection was based on a license from the Norwegian Data Protection Agency and approval from The Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics. The MoBa cohort is now based on regulations related to the Norwegian Health Registry Act. The current study was approved by The Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (127708/14140/20138). BRY.DEG2020 is a longitudinal survey study established in March 2020 at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital, with the overarching aim to monitor the effect of the pandemic and its restrictions on mental health. The project consists of 5 waves of online questionnaires: spring 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022. The project collects self-report data on symptoms, resilience, and coping. Participants were aged 18 and older and signed an informed consent before answering the survey. Participants were recruited via social media and e-mail lists for universities across Norway and from patient organisations. A total of 19,372 participants answered the initial survey which was collected between 1st of April 2020 to 15 June 2020. A sub-sample of 13,500 agreed to be recontacted and 6,320 responded to a second survey collected in December 2020. The project was approved by the regional ethics committee (REK-Nord, ref.nr. 123324).
Estonian Biobank (EstBB) is a population-based cohort (N = 200,000) with genotype and a rich variety of phenotypic and health-related information. At recruitment, participants signed a broad consent form allowing follow-up linkage of their electronic health records (EHR) and recontacting for future studies, thereby providing a longitudinal collection of their phenotypic information. A COVID-19-related data collection was established in May 2020 when web-based questionnaires including questions on COVID-19 symptoms, risk factors, and mental health was sent out to all EstBB participants who had been tested for COVID-19 with a PCR test. To date, the questionnaires were sent out between May to October 2020 to new PCR-tested individuals. Currently, 4,194 individuals have responded. The COVID-19 study was approved by the Estonian Committe on Bioethics and Human Research. A more comprehensive mental health questionnaire-based data collection is currently ongoing in the full EstBB cohort (planned response time-line March-April 2021). The aim of this data collection is to obtain more in-depth information on various mental health-related factors, such as socioeconomic, lifestyle subjective wellbeing, symptoms of depression, anxiety, mania, PTSD, eating disorders, ADHD, cognition, social support and stressful life events during the second lock-down period in Estonia.
Generation Scotland (GS) is a population and family-based cohort with broad consent for genetic, health, wellbeing and lifestyle studies. During the main recruitment phase of the study, participants completed an extensive questionnaire on medical history, lifestyle and sociodemographics, attended a clinic for measures and the collection of biological samples for biochemical and genetic study, and gave consent for linkage to NHS Scotland routine health records and for recontact for voluntary participation in follow on studies. The main recruitment (24,096 individuals in 5,501 family groups) took place between 2006-2011 (age range 18-100, mean (SD) 47.6 (15.4), 59% female). The study was approved by East of Scotland Research Ethics Service (EoSRES). In 2019, funding was received from the Wellcome Trust (award 216767/Z/19/Z) to expand the cohort, recruit new families and younger volunteers (aged 12 and up). Recruitment was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we pivoted to conducting a series of CovidLife Surveys to establish how people were coping and feeling under COVID-19. The CovidLife Survey 1 ran from 17 April 2020 to 7 May 2020 which coincided with the first period of ‘stay at home’ (lockdown) measures in Scotland. 18,518 completed the survey of whom 16,997 resided in Scotland. The survey was sent to all members of GS who had provided a valid email address for recontact.
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The COVIDMENT consortium is currently implementing new population-based data collections to target individual-level information on COVID-19 exposure and self-reported symptoms of psychiatric disorders in relation to COVID-19. The current participation rates for all participating countries:
National patients registers (and Primary Care Registers and electronic health records, where available) will be used to ascertain diagnoses of COVID-19 as well as psychiatric disorders. In addition, we will obtain data from intensive care registers, drug prescription registers, the medical birth registers, multi-generational registers, and genotype data, where available. Registry data for the participating countries: