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THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND ITS EFFECTS

Humanity is experiencing a unique moment in history, with serious effects for individuals, families and societies. The time ahead will be of major importance to understand better what has been happening to us during the unexpected events following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Who are we?

We invite you to participate in a project developed by a group of professionals of Public and Mental Health from the University Porto and the European University (Portugal), the University of Malta (Malta/Italy), Salud Mental Hospital Universitario San Cecilio (Spain), Mid Sweden University and University of Gävle (Sweden), University of West Attica (Greece), Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (USA), University of Central Lancashire (Great Britain), Kolkata Haematology Education and Research Initiative (India) and Centre for Injury Prevention and Research (Bangladesh).

Before deciding if you want to participate, it is important that you understand why this study is being carried out, why we are requesting your collaboration, what the study will mean for you, and how your information will be used. Also important is that if you want to participate, you need to be 18 years of age and older.

Why are we doing this study?

Previous studies have shown that pandemics have adverse effects on people´s living situation and well-being. Data on these issues are paramount to develop adequate and efficient measures to deal with the reactions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why participate?

We are studying persons from different countries independently of whether or not they are infected by COVID-19. Therefore, we solicit your collaboration because it is fundamental to know the effects of the pandemic for our present and future.

What is asked of you?

If you decide to participate, after reading the informed consent, we ask you to answer a number of questions concerning different aspects of well-being, social interactions, demographics/socioeconomics and the coronavirus.

Must you participate?

Your participation is voluntary. You can start and end your participation whenever you want. Data collection will occur the next 3 to 5 months and will be done with guarantees of strict confidentiality and in compliance with the applicable data protection legislation.

If you decide to participate, please click the option, “I am 18 years of age or older and I want to voluntarily participate in this study” on the next page.

Can you withdraw from the study?

Once you begin the study, you will not be able to withdraw your responses because your participation in the study is completely anonymous. No personal data, neither your name, email nor IP address are collected.

Potential Risks

Answering questions about the coronavirus pandemic may be upsetting. You may skip any question that you do not wish to answer.

POLICY OF PRIVACY

Your data will be gathered, processed and analyzed in strict compliance with the European Data Privacy and Security Law, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and the Council of 27 April 2016, on the protection of individuals concerning the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, repelling Directive 95/46/EC), and other legislation applicable to the processing of personal data.

The research is organized by the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP, Portugal) with the collaboration of the the European University (Portugal), the University of Malta (Malta/Italy), Salud Mental Hospital Universitario San Cecilio (Spain), Mid Sweden University and University of Gävle (Sweden), University of West Attica (Greece), Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (USA), University of Central Lancashire (Great Britain), Kolkata Haematology Education and Research Initiative (India) and Centre for Injury Prevention and Research (Bangladesh).

From the legal point of view, the ISPUP (Portugal) is in charge of the processing of data in relation to the personal data processed within the scope of this study.

Your privacy and the protection of your personal data are of major importance to us. The project was analyzed and will be followed by the person in charge of data protection at ISPUP.

Data collection

The study encompasses the collection of various personal data, included in the responses to the questionnaire that follows. The responses measure such areas as demographic/socioeconomic background, experiences with the coronavirus, including health status, and the experience of well-being.

ISPUP does not recruit participants directly. This task was delegated to each project partner. However, ISPUP provides an information storage platform where data will be collected and analysed safely. The data collected through surveys will be stored on local servers owned by ISPUP and will not be shared with third parties. The data can only be accessed by authorized researchers from ISPUP and partners (listed above). All conditions of confidentiality and physical and computational security of your data are safeguarded and guaranteed, with appropriate organizational and technical measures adopted to protect and mitigate the risks inherent in their treatment. All data collected are fully anonymous. Data will be encrypted and access controlled. The selection of the data to be collected and the survey questions were decided in the light of a principle of data minimization and the scientific objectives of the research project.

No data will be collected without your informed consent, which is why we ask you to provide it by accepting to participate before filling out the questionnaires. We therefore assume that you are able to validly consent. The questionnaire is not directed at any particular section of the population. In any case, the questions can be answered in any environment, by people of different ages and cultures. However, persons who are under 18 years of age should NOT answer the questions. Statistical data will only be released in an aggregated form and in a way that respects your anonymity.

Joint responsibility for data processing

ISPUP and partners regulated their respective responsibilities concerning the processing of personal data under conditions that are summarized as follows. ISPUP ensures the scientific coordination of the project, with the definition of the main scientific objectives, the issues to be elaborated and the data to be collected through a questionnaire, as well as precedence in data analyses and in the production of the main conclusions of the investigation. However, this will be done in collaboration with the partners. ISPUP is also responsible for defining, implementing and maintaining the main technical means involved in the collection and conservation of data, as well as the data processing methods to be implemented. ISPUP as a contact point has the primary responsibility for responding to requests submitted by data subjects and partners, with the necessary assistance and support from partners.

Data holder rights

As a data owner, the law recognizes the following rights: Information, Access, Rectification, Deletion, Portability and Limitation of processing. The exercise of some of these rights may be removed or limited, in compliance with the terms and conditions provided for in applicable EU and national legislation, insofar as such exercise is likely to make it impossible or seriously impair the achievement of the processing goals for research purposes and only to the extent necessary for the pursuit of those purposes.

These rights must be exercised with the ISPUP data controller, by e-mail: secretaria@ispup.up.pt. ISPUP has designated a Data Protection Officer, who can be contacted via e-mail: dpo@ispup.up.pt. The law also gives you the right to file complaints before a European supervisory authority, and in Portugal, the competent authority is CNPD (www.cnpd.pt).

The competent authorities in other countries. Swedish Data Protection Authority (https://www.datainspektionen.se/); Spanish Data Protection Agency (https://www.aepd.es/es); The Italian Data Protection Authority (https://www.garanteprivacy.it/home); Hellenic Data Protection Authority (https://www.dpa.gr/); Information Commissioner´s Office (https://ico.org.uk/); Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (http://meity.gov.in/); Digital Security Act (https://www.cirt.gov.bd/); and Data Protection Laws and Regulations (see https://iclg.com/).