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    Review of 'Reflections, Resilience, and Recovery: A qualitative study of the COVID-19 impact on an international general population’s mental health and priorities for support'

    Reflections, Resilience, and Recovery: A qualitative study of the COVID-19 impact on an international general population’s mental health and priorities for supportCrossref
    An important topic and interesting methodology, with just a few changes that might be useful
    Average rating:
        Rated 4.5 of 5.
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        Rated 5 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 4 of 5.
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        Rated 4 of 5.
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    Reviewed article

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    Reflections, Resilience, and Recovery: A qualitative study of the COVID-19 impact on an international general population’s mental health and priorities for support

    The impact of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on different countries and populations is well documented in quantitative studies, with some studies showing stable mental health symptoms and others showing fluctuating symptoms. However, the reasons behind why some symptoms are stable and others change are under-explored, which in turn makes identifying the types of support needed by participants themselves challenging. To address these gaps, this study thematically analysed 925 qualitative responses from five open-ended responses collected in the UCL-Penn Global COVID Study between 17 April to 31 July 2021 (wave 3). Three key themes comprised of 13 codes were reported by participants across countries and ages regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their health, both mental and physical, and livelihoods. These include: 1) Outlook on self/life , 2) Self-improvement , and 3) Loved ones (friends and family) . In terms of support, while 2.91% did not require additional support, 91% wanted support beyond financial. Other unexpected new themes were also discussed regarding vulnerable populations suffering disproportionately. The pandemic has brought into sharp focus various changes in people’s mental health, physical health, and relationships. Greater policy considerations should be given to supporting citizens’ continued access to mental health when considering pandemic recovery.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Support,COVID-19,Health,Mental Health,Financial Burden,Behavioural Change,Pandemic Recovery,Qualitative

      Review text

      This is an important topic. As the authors set out, there has been considerable work on responses to Covid, but less attention from a qualitative angle to the differences in experience and their implications both on an individual and sociocultural level. This paper therefore is both relevant and timely. 

      It is a well-written description of a largely well-designed study. However, I do have a few specific comments:

      1. I am not sure that the results and discussion fully deliver on the intial promise of consideration of inequalities in experience of the pandemic. If they do, then it is only on quite a general level (some people fared better than others). Given the demographic information that was collected and the cross-cultural approach, I would like to see a more comprehensive consideration of the similarities and differences across groups. 

      2. The questions that were asked in the data collection were perhaps a little leading, and so in many ways I'm not particularly surprised that the results have grouped around the themes that they have - they do seem to map onto what was being probed. I think the presentation of one of the results as 'surprising' adds a bit to this sense of finding what was expected, which is a bit of a concern. Of course some results will be expected, but local surprise would usually be seen as one of the quality indicators of qualitative research, and a way of us ensuring that we can have confidence in what is being expressed.

      3. Although a qualitative research project, the appproach to analysis of the data is fairly quantitative. There is no particular problem with this more structured quantitative analysis, but it does tend to result in a fairly small number of codes (which is of course often preferable when relying on inter-rater reliability) but there is perhaps a lack of richness to parts of the analysis, especially since we are told that many participants used the survey as an opportunity to write quite extensively about their experiences. 


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