The Well-being, Interventions and Strategies during Epidemics (WISE) study is taking place to find out how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has influenced the mental health and wellbeing of people living in Irish communities who are aged over 65 years old.

We hope to better understand their experiences, perspectives, and how the pandemic has changed their daily life.

Results from the study will help to inform best practices about how to support mental health and wellbeing of older people during public health crises and as we emerge from COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions

Who can take part?

We are inviting you to participate if you are aged 65 years old or over, and currently live in Ireland. Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to invite people living in nursing homes.

What will taking part in WISE involve?

There are three ways you can get involved: 1) Write about your experiences during the pandemic or send us pictures, or a mixture of both. 2) Talk to us about your experiences by phone or Zoom or (when it's safe) in person. 3) Do a 'go-along' interview where you show us a place that is special to you and talk to us about it. You can do any or all of these. Learn more by clicking here.

Who is conducting and funding the research?

This research project is part of a PhD project based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The project is led by PhD Scholar Dr Viveka Guzman, under the supervision of Dr Maria Pertl, Dr Frank Doyle, and Dr Ronan Foley. An advisory group of experts by experience is contributing to inform and design the overall research project. You can find additional information about the research team here. This study is funded by the Health Research Board under the grant SPHeRE-1-2019.

Will my data be kept safe?

Yes. All information we collect will be kept secure and in confidence. For more information about how we keep your information safe, please see our Privacy and Data Protection Notice.

When and where will WISE interviews take place?

Interviews can be completed over the phone, or a videoconferencing software in any type of device (e.g., a computer, tablet or smartphone), or face-to-face (according to the public health recommendations in place). Once you consent to take part in the study, the research team will contact you to arrange a day and time that suits you. You will also be invited to complete a follow-up interview 3-12 weeks after your initial interview to chat about if and how things may have changed during that time.

Are there any risks from participating in this research?

There are no significant risks from participation. If you decide to take part in this study and you prefer not to discuss any particulat themes, it will be absolutely fine to move on to a different discussion topic. You may also pause or decide to stop the interview at any time with no disadvantage to yourself.

How can the study possibly benefit me or others?

We hope taking part in the study will be an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to share your story your way. We believe that learning the problems you faced and how you coped with them will help others who may find themselves in similar situations now or in the future.

Do participants receive payment?

You will not be paid for participation in this study.

Who can I contact if I have further questions?

You can fill in the contact form here or also reach out directly to the research lead Dr Viveka Guzman at the email: vivekaguzman@rcsi.ie or phone 0873382732

Will interviews be recorded?

Yes, with your consent all interviews will be recorded for transcription. Recording your interview will allow us to go back over it and make sure that we have not missed anything. It will also help us describe things with your own words.

How can I return my COVID-19 diary?

Once you have completed your COVID-19 diary, there are a few options on how to return your contribution: 1) Post to: WISE study Viveka Guzman / Frank Doyle RCSI, Division of Population Health Sciences, Beaux Lane House, Mercer St. Lower, D02DH60, Dublin, Ireland 2) Email to: vivekaguzman@rcsi.ie Scan or take a photo of every page of your COVID-19 diary, and send it to our team as an email attachement . If you would like some additional help to do this, please get in touch at 0873382732.


The WISE study is supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the National University of Ireland Maynooth, the Structured Population and Health-services Research Education Programme (SPHeRE), and the Health Research Board under the SPHeRE-2019-1 grant