• Rapid response

    Mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak

    Initial reports suggest we should expect a sharp rise in levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness. The pandemic could have implications for those already suffering from addiction, OCD, and eating disorders. Concerns have prompted a number of initiatives supporting mental well-being. These include guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE), resources from the devolved administrations, and formation of the Help Hub, a service set up by volunteer therapists.

  • Rapid response

    Models of COVID-19: Part 3

    Following measures by the UK Government, a survey was conducted on the 18 of March to assess public attitudes. 77% of respondents were worried about an outbreak and while 93% reported taking protective measures, only 50% were avoiding social events, 36% were avoiding public transport, and 31% were avoiding going out. A study on the global impact of COVID-19 estimated that an unmitigated epidemic would infect 7.0 billion out of the world’s 7.8 billion people. This would lead to 40 million global deaths in 2020. The latest modeling estimates that as of 27 about 4% of the population of the UK has been infected with coronavirus.The UK has strengthened capacity of the NHS to deal with COVID-19 by building field hospitals, but there is still a shortage of intensive care beds and intensive care nurses. Various testing strategies are being explored for healthcare workers and the wider community. Testing each case and their contacts might require as many as 60,000 tests per day.

  • Rapid response

    Face masks, face coverings and COVID-19

    This article goes over the types of masks that exist. It explores how effective are they at preventing transmission of coronavirus, according to the latest research. It reviews the advice on masks and face coverings from public health organisations, and presents official guidance from several nations. This is part of our rapid response content on COVID-19. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19 misinformation

    According to a recent study from Ofcom, 46% of respondents have encountered false or misleading coronavirus information since the lockdown. Most cases of misinformation are found on social media. Misinformation can lead to public mistrust, endangerment of public health, as well as hate crime and exploitation. Different approaches are being implemented to fight misinformation including content moderation, myth-busting, and a focus on education.

  • Rapid response

    Vaccines for COVID-19

    Who is working on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 (coronavirus disease)? When might a COVID-19 vaccine become available? This is part of our rapid response content on COVID-19. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article will be updated as the research progresses.

  • Rapid response

    Models of COVID-19: Part 2

    What can Wuhan tell us about the COVID-19 pandemic? How might different suppression and mitigation strategies affect coronavirus transmission? This breakdown of the Imperial College models is part of our rapid response content on COVID-19. This article will be updated as the research progresses.

  • Rapid response

    Models of COVID-19: Part 1

    On 20th March, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released the evidence behind the government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This series of short articles summarises these 32 documents. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article goes over the research used to develop early COVID-19 models which in turn informed the thinking of SAGE. High profile models from Imperial College London will be detailed in Part 2.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: School closures and mass gatherings

    On 20th March, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released the evidence behind the government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This series of short articles summarises these 32 documents. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article covers the effectiveness of measures such as school closures and mass gathering. It goes over different scenarios and what models predict for the UK.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: Insights from behavioural science

    On 20th March, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released the evidence behind the government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This series of short articles summarises these 32 documents. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article goes over insights from behavioural science such as the risk of public disorder and adherence to household isolation.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: Behavioural and social interventions

    On 20th March, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released the evidence behind the government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This series of short articles summarises these 32 documents. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article goes over proposed non-pharmaceutical interventions. These include social and behavioural interventions such as school closures, home isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. This article summarises 4 SAGE reports.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: Current understanding

    On 20th March, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released the evidence behind the government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This series of short articles summarises these 32 documents. You can view all our reporting on this topic under COVID-19. This article goes over the key epidemiological terms used in the COVID-19 response.

  • POSTnote

    Online safety education

    Online technologies are an integral part of many children’s lives. In 2017, the Children’s Commissioner for England identified shortcomings in online safety education and a number of stakeholders have called for action to increase ‘digital literacy’ in the UK. Upcoming changes to the curriculum mean that aspects of online safety will be taught in all schools from 2020. This POSTnote gives an overview of how children use the internet and the opportunities and risks it presents. It provides an overview of current online safety teaching in schools and elsewhere and how this will be affected by changes in the curriculum. It also looks at the role of content filtering and age verification technologies to improve online safety.

  • POSTnote

    Brain-computer interfaces

    Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) measure brain activity and can be used to control digital devices. The focus of BCI development has been on using the technology to allow patients to control assistive equipment such as wheelchairs or prostheses. Beyond medicine they are under development for applications in entertainment, marketing and defence. This POSTnote looks at the underpinning technology, its applications and the associated ethical and regulatory challenges.

  • POSTbrief

    Evaluating the integration of health and social care

    Demand for health and social care continues to rise in the UK as people are living longer and a greater proportion have multiple health conditions requiring long-term treatment or care (such as diabetes, heart disease or dementia). Integrating health and social care has been considered as a possible response to these demographic changes, with the potential benefits including improved patient experience, and better quality of care through increased coordination and efficiency. It has been argued that effective integration could result in reduced use of hospital beds, lower hospital admissions rates, shorter hospital stays, shorter recovery periods and lower readmission rates. However, evidence on the impact of integration is mixed, with evaluations variously showing positive, negative and no effects. Cost savings have also been cited as a potential benefit, although reviews have noted that the economic evidence is limited and contradictory.