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Psychological Approaches to Covid and Long Covid

Daryl O'Connor

8 Feb 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

O’Connor, D.B., Aggleton, J.P., Chakarabati, D., Cooper, C.L., Creswell, C., ….. & Armitage, C.J. (2020). Research Priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: A call to action for psychological science. British Journal of Psychology, 111, 603-629.

O’Connor, R.C., Wetherall, K., Cleare, S., McClelland, H., Melson, A.J., Niedzwiedz, C.L., O’Carroll, R.E., O’Connor, D.B., Platt, S., Scowcroft, E., Watson, B., Zortea, T., Ferguson, E. Robb, K.A. (2021). Mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal analyses of adults in the UK COVID-19 Mental Health & Wellbeing study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 218, 326-333.

Prudenzi, A., Graham, C.D., Rogerson, O. & O'Connor, D.B. (in press). Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Role of Psychological Flexibility and Stress-related Variables. Psychology and Health.

Michelen M, Manoharan L, Elkheir N, et al. (2021). Characterising long COVID: a living systematic review BMJ Global Health, 6:e005427.

Aiyegbusi OL, Hughes SE, Turner G, et al. (2021). Symptoms, complications and management of long COVID: a review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 114, 428-442.

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.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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