Researcher Leads Study on Long COVID’s Effects on Mental Health and More

With a $49,000 Research Excellence Program grant from UConn’s Office of the Vice President for Research, Assistant Professor Kelsi Carolan will lead a qualitative study with a focus on individuals with long COVID in Connecticut. The term “long COVID” describes a clinical set of post-COVID symptoms that may include fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, among other effects.

The aims of Carolan’s research are to investigate how long COVID affects employment, family and social relationships, and mental health; what coping strategies affected individuals are utilizing to manage the psychosocial repercussions of long COVID; and what types of professional and clinical interventions are needed to best support psychosocial functioning in the context of long COVID.

“We are aiming to focus especially on the needs and experiences of Black/African American and Latine individuals experiencing long Covid symptoms given that the psychosocial impact of long COVID on these populations has so far been understudied,” says Carolan.

The novel research brings together a multidisciplinary team of faculty from UConn and UConn Health Center with complementary expertise to address significant gaps in understanding of a new and poorly understood chronic disease. Rachel Tambling, professor in Human Development and Family Sciences at UConn, is co-principal investigator. Contributors also include Ameer Rasheed, assistant professor of medicine in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at UConn Health, and Chinenye Anyanwu, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the UConn School of Pharmacy.

Read more about Carolan’s work.