Wave 3 of COVID-19 survey now underway

2 February 2021

With the whole country in lockdown again, the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) is conducting another web survey of thousands of cohort study participants, to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of different generations of people in the UK.

This is the third wave of the CLS COVID-19 Survey in Five National Longitudinal Studies. More than 29,000 people, aged 19 to 74, from five studies, completed one or both of two earlier waves last year – the first in May and the second between September and October. Their responses, combined with the rich multidisciplinary data the studies have collected about participants’ lives since birth, are of unique value to the national understanding of the pandemic’s impact.

This latest survey repeats many of the questions featured in Waves 1 and 2, enabling researchers to examine how people’s experiences, circumstances and views have changed as the crisis has continued. Other questions in this wave are new additions, including questions about the vaccination programme and long COVID. Work and finances, a topic covered in the previous waves, features again in this wave, but with additional questions on pay and household income. Home schooling, physical health and health behaviours, mental health and wellbeing, social contact, family and relationships, and trust are among the other topics explored in this new survey.

An open question from Wave 1, which gave participants an opportunity to explain in their own words how the pandemic has affected them and their loved ones, has been included again in this third wave. Almost 11,000 participants responded to this question in May, complementing the quantitative data collected and providing additional insights into the different ways people in the UK have experienced this outbreak.

As with the first two waves, participants of all five of the national longitudinal cohort studies run at CLS and the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL (MRC LHA at UCL) are invited to complete this latest web survey. These studies follow the lives of large nationally representative groups of people:

In a new development for Wave 3, telephone interviews will be offered to some of those who are unwilling or unable to participate online.

Researchers can download Wave 1 and Wave 2 data from the UK Data Service now. For more information about the design and content of the survey, the response to the first two waves and weights, see the CLS website.

Further information

  1. The COVID-19 Survey in Five National Longitudinal Studies was developed and led by CLS, based at the UCL Social Research Institute, in collaboration with the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL (MRC LHA at UCL).
  2. CLS is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The Medical Research Council provides core funding for the MRC LHA at UCL.

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