In plain language, what is your project about? What questions are you trying to answer by doing this research?
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that has had disastrous consequences around the world. In order to slow the spread of the virus, governments have implemented numerous social isolation and disease containment policies, including the Government of New Brunswick. The aim of our project is to investigate the impact of COVID-19 and the associated government response measures on the mental health of residents of New Brunswick through administration of an online survey. Additionally, we are interested in looking at how different demographic factors influence mental health and attempts to access support for mental health issues.
Specifically, through our research we are trying to determine:
We hope that the results from this study will provide a deeper understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted mental health and bring awareness to the wellbeing of the residents of New Brunswick as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.
Looking at your research team members, there are people from other departments and institutions. Have you worked together before this project?
This project is a collaboration between NB Social Pediatrics and the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data, and Training (NBIRDT), Horizon Health Network, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB), and Dalhousie University.
We have previously collaborated with NB-IRDT on our Parent-Child Assistance Program and our CARE Database project. We have a great relationship with the team at NBIRDT and always enjoy partnering with them on projects in the province.
How – if at all – has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your research project and/or collaboration?
The COVID-19 pandemic inspired our project, and is a result of it! Our team was being impacted by the pandemic and government response, and we knew our clients were being impacted by the pandemic and government response as well. This was a crucial and rare opportunity to collect information like this in real time, and our team was able to quickly establish and distribute a survey to collect information on the experiences of New Brunswickers.
The pandemic changed our collaboration because although we partnered with some familiar faces, we were also able to work with an Honours student in Halifax who may not have reached out to us as a potential supervisor if it had not been for the pandemic. The opportunity for Honours project supervision from a distance was made possible through the pandemic, government response, and shift to virtual learning.
What advice would you give to others on building a successful research collaboration?
This project, Understanding the psychosocial impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on New Brunswickers, was funded through a New Brunswick Innovation Foundation COVID-19 research grant. The team is continuing to collect data; this space will be updated with references once published.
Dr. Sarah Gander
Clinical/Academic Department Head Pediatrics, Saint John, Horizon Health Network
Co-lead, NB Social Pediatrics Research Program
Sarah Campbell, B.Sc., MAHSR(c)
Research Manager, NB Social Pediatrics Program
Kate Flood, MA
Research Coordinator, NB Social Pediatrics Program
Honours Student in Bachelor of Sciences (Medical Sciences), Dalhousie University