Welcome to CHARIS: Covid Health and Adherence Research in Scotland. CHARIS is a research project funded by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO), Edinburgh via their Rapid Research in COVID-19 Programme.

Background to CHARIS

To halt the transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 the Government asked the people of Scotland to change radically the way they live their daily lives. We were asked to work from home wherever possible, to only leave our homes for a few specific purposes, to keep at least 2m away from other people, to not have face-to-face contact with anyone other than the people we live with, to wash our hands frequently and thoroughly and to wear face masks when on public transport and in shops. The public have stuck to the Government rules and now, gradually, lockdown is being eased.

What impact will the relaxation of the lockdown rules have on our ability to adhere to social distancing and other important behaviours designed to stop the spread of COVID-19? And, what has been the impact of the lockdown on mental and general health?

What are the aims of CHARIS?

CHARIS aims to investigate:

  • Adherence: what are the rates of adherence to each of the behaviours designed to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (Transmission Reducing Behaviours, or TRBs for short), and how do the rates of adherence change as lockdown is eased?
  • Mental and General Health: what is the mental & physical health of the public and how does this change as lockdown is eased?
  • Triggers: what triggers changes in adherence and health? For example, do daily statistics around the rates of infections or changes in perceptions of risk of getting COVID trigger changes in adherence or health?

How will CHARIS achieve these aims?

Each week, for 17 weeks, we will interview a nationally representative random sample of 500 adults over the telephone.  We will ask them a core set of questions about whether they are managing to adhere to each of 8 TRBs, about their mental and general health, and their beliefs and worries about COVID-19.  Each week we will be able to add different questions designed to capture events related to the pandemic, for example, when the Government changes its instructions or advice.