COVID-19 Psychiatry and Neurological Genetics (COPING) study

NIHR Mental Health BioResource launches COPING, a new study to assess impact of COVID-19 on mental, physical and neurological health.

Illustration of anxiety over virus infection; woman holding knees surrounded by virus particles

The COVID-19 Psychiatry and Neurological Genetics (COPING) study is a new study being run from the NIHR Mental Health BioResource.

The Mental Health BioResource is a theme from the NIHR BioResource launched in September 2018. It is led by the NIHR BioResouce Centre Maudsley in London. Their first study was to investigate the Genetics Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD), followed by the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI); now they are looking at the effects of COVID-19.

Previous research has shown that viral pandemics can lead to substantial distress in society and negatively influence mental and neurological health. The COPING study will assess the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on mental and neurological health. We are interested in how different factors associated with the virus are affecting the population.

To take part in the COPING study you need to be a member of the NIHR BioResource. It involves completing an initial questionnaire which will take about 25-45 minutes with the option to consent to receive follow up questionnaires every two weeks throughout the pandemic. These follow-up questionnaires will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and will help researchers to understand how the impact of the pandemic may change over time.

Many participants of the NIHR BioResource have already been invited to get involved, including participants to the GLAD and EDGI studies. The research team would like to recruit a wide sample of participants to provide information on their physical, brain and psychological health. COPING are collaborating with other projects (such as the Repeated Assessment of Mental Health in Pandemics (RAMP) study) to recruit as many people as possible to get the broadest picture of the effects of COVID-19 on the population’s health.

Professor Gerome Breen, NIHR BioResource Maudsley Centre lead and who is leading the COPING team, said: "We aim to understand the impact of the COVID-19 socio-economic crises and the effects of COVID-19 infection on mental and neurological health. We want to use social, psychological and genetic risk factors to find what predicts both resilience and risk."

Taking part

If you wish to join the COPING study but are not a member of the NIHR BioResource, you can join our partnered project RAMP. If you want to join the NIHR BioResource and/or the GLAD or EDGI projects, and provide a DNA sample, please contact or go to GLAD or EDGI to check eligibility criteria and sign up.

Lastly, if you are an existing NIHR BioResource participant who wants to take part in COPING but have not received an invite, please email the COPING study.

First published 3 June 2020.