Psychological Approaches to Covid and Long Covid

Prof. Daryl O'Connor

Wednesday, 8 February 2023


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents the greatest international biopsychosocial emergency the world has faced for a century. It has changed how we work, educate, parent, socialise, shop, communicate and travel. Psychology and psychological science continues to have an integral role to offer in helping individuals, organisations, societies to recover. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of large numbers of the population, in particular, those living with pre-existing mental health conditions. Moreover, it has also been associated with a growing number of people experiencing COVID-related symptoms many months after contracting the virus (e.g., breathlessness, “brain fog”, lethargy, anxiety and stress). This webinar event will: 1) consider research findings regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health outcomes, outline which groups have been shown to be most vulnerable and describe risk factors and protective factors; and 2) describe and characterise our current understanding of long Covid symptoms, consider evidence of the relationship between triggers and long Covid symptoms and discuss implications for the management of long Covid.

The event will be equivalent to 1.1/2hrs of CPD.


The first half of this webinar will provide an overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health outcomes with a particular focus on the findings from the UK COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Study and highlight potential vulnerability factors and protective factors. The second half will provide a summary of how long Covid is characterised in terms of symptoms and triggers and consider existing evidence in terms of management of long Covid.

Learning Objectives

1. To gain insight into the existing research evidence relating to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health outcomes
2. To understand protective factors and risk factors for mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
3. To provide knowledge about the current understanding of long Covid symptoms and their triggers and how it is managed.

Training Modalities

Didactic content, Q&A, experiential components, polls

Key References

Ehlers, A. & Wild, J. (2021). Cognitive behavior therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder. In A. Wenzel (Ed.), Handbook of cognitive behavioral therapy: Applications (pp. 99–147). American Psychological Association.

About the presenter

Daryl O'Connor PhD, FAcSS, FEHPS, is Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Leeds. He is a registered health psychologist and currently leads the Health and Social Psychology Research Group in the School as well as heads up the Group's Laboratory for Stress and Health Research (STARlab; Daryl’s current research focuses on: i) investigating the effects of stress and psychological interventions on health outcomes (e.g. suicide behaviour, eating behaviours, cortisol levels), ii) psychological approaches to Covid and long Covid and iii) exploring the effects of interventions on the uptake of screening behaviours. Daryl is a past Chair of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Division of Health Psychology and the BPS Psychobiology Section, Chair of BPS Research Board and Chair of the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) Board of Scientific Affairs and was a Trustee of the BPS between 2015 and 2021. Daryl was joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal Psychology & Health from 2011 to 2019 and is the Editor-in-Chief of Cogent Psychology.
Daryl played a key role in supporting the BPS’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as in his role as a BPS trustee, Daryl was deputy chair of the BPS COVID-19 Coordinating Group, was a member of the BPS COVID-19 Behaviour Science and Disease Prevention workstream and led the BPS COVID-19 Research Priorities Group.

Who should attend

This webinar is suitable to a wide range of health professionals particularly those interested in learning more COVID and long Covid.