Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Cohort profile: The UK COVID-19 Public Experiences (COPE) prospective longitudinal mixed-methods study of health and well-being during the SARSCoV2 coronavirus pandemic

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posted on 2021-07-12, 08:39 authored by Rhiannon PhillipsRhiannon Phillips, Khadijeh Taiyari, Anna Torrens-Burton, Rebecca Cannings-John, Denitza Williams, Sarah Peddle, Susan Campbell, Kathryn Hughes, David Gillespie, Paul SellarsPaul Sellars, Pauline Ashfield-Watt, Bethan Pell, Ashley Akbari, Catherine Heidi Seage, Nick Perham, Natalie Joseph-Williams, Emily Harrop, James Blaxland, Fiona Wood, Wouter Poortinga, Delyth JamesDelyth James, Diane Crone, Emma Thomas-Jones, Britt HallingbergBritt Hallingberg

 Public perceptions of pandemic viral threats and government policies can influence adherence to containment, delay, and mitigation policies such as physical distancing, hygienic practices, use of physical barriers, uptake of testing, contact tracing, and vaccination programs. The UK COVID-19 Public Experiences (COPE) study aims to identify determinants of health behaviour using the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation (COM-B) model using a longitudinal mixed-methods approach. Here, we provide a detailed description of the demographic and self-reported health characteristics of the COPE cohort at baseline assessment, an overview of data collected, and plans for follow-up of the cohort. The COPE baseline survey was completed by 11,113 UK adult residents (18+ years of age). Baseline data collection started on the 13th of March 2020 (10-days before the introduction of the first national COVID-19 lockdown in the UK) and finished on the 13th of April 2020. Participants were recruited via the HealthWise Wales (HWW) research registry and through social media snowballing and advertising (Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®). Participants were predominantly female (69%), over 50 years of age (68%), identified as white (98%), and were living with their partner (68%). A large proportion (67%) had a college/university level education, and half reported a pre-existing health condition (50%). Initial follow-up plans for the cohort included in-depth surveys at 3-months and 12-months after the first UK national lockdown to assess short and medium-term effects of the pandemic on health behaviour and subjective health and well-being. Additional consent will be sought from participants at follow-up for data linkage and surveys at 18 and 24-months after the initial UK national lockdown. A large non-random sample was recruited to the COPE cohort during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will enable longitudinal analysis of the determinants of health behaviour and changes in subjective health and well-being over the course of the pandemic. 


The initial stages of this research (March 2020 – August 2020) were supported by internal resources at Cardiff Metropolitan University (, Cardiff University (, HealthWise Wales (, and PRIME Centre Wales ( This included allowing core team members time to design, set up, and conduct the baseline and 3-month data collection. Financial support was provided by internal Cardiff Metropolitan University ‘Get Started’ and Cardiff University Division of Population funds to support transcription of the baseline qualitative data. PRIME Centre Wales, HealthWise Wales and the Centre for Trials Research are part of Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure ( Health and Care Research Wales is a networked organisation supported by Welsh Government. In August 2020, a Sêr Cymru III Tackling COVID-19 grant (, Project number WG 90) was awarded to cover our follow-up data collection, analysis and dissemination activities for the period between the 1st of August 2020 to 31st of March 2021. This work is supported by Health Data Research UK, which receives its funding from HDR UK Ltd (HDR-9006) funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Health and Social Care (England), Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Public Library of Science


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Phillips R, Taiyari K, Torrens-Burton A, Cannings-John R, Williams D, Peddle S, et al. (2021) 'Cohort profile: The UK COVID-19 Public Experiences (COPE) prospective longitudinal mixed-methods study of health and well-being during the SARSCoV2 coronavirus pandemic', PLoS ONE 16(10): e0258484.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Rhiannon Phillips Paul Sellars Catherine Heidi Seage Nick Perham James Blaxland Delyth H. James Diane Crone Britt Hallingberg

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Public Health and Wellbeing

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


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