Compassion, Connectedness, Resilience in the COVID-19 Era: WORLDWIDE SURVEY LOOKING FOR PARTICIPANTS

Please consider taking part in this worldwide study. The epicenter is in Portugal. Here is the FAQ page for readers/speakers of English:

Compassion, social connectedness and trauma resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic: A multi-national study (USA)


Marcela Matos Ph.D. (PI), & Daniel Rijo Ph.D. (CINEICC, University of Coimbra) - PORTUGAL

Paul Gilbert OBE Ph.D., Kirsten McEwan Ph.D., Jasran Basran Ph.D. Student (Compassionate Mind Foundation & University of Derby), & Chris Irons Ph.D. (Balanced Minds) - UNITED KINGDOM

 Katie Baird Ph.D. (Irish Centre for Compassion Focused Therapy) - IRELAND

Nicola Petrocchi Ph.D. (John Cabot University & Compassionate Mind Italia), Simone Cheli Ph.D. (School of Human Health Sciences, University of Florence), & Joanna Skrzelinska Ph.D. Student (University of Coimbra) - ITALY

Sonia Gregório Ph.D., Sara Paloma Vilas Sanz Ph.D., & Margarita Gomez Marquez Ph.D. (Universidad Europea de Madrid) – SPAIN

Catherine Bortolon Ph.D., Marina Paucsik Ph.D. Student (Université Grenoble Alpes), & Pascal Delamillieure Ph.D. (Université de Caen Normandie) - FRANCE

 Nuno Ferreira, Ph.D. (University of Nicosia) CYPRUS & Elli Tholouli (Harokopeio university) GREECE

Júlia Halamová Ph.D., & Martin Kanovský Ph.D. (Comenius University, Bratislava) – SLOVAKIA

Julia E. Wahl Ph.D., Mariusz Zieba Ph.D., Mateusz Zatorski Ph.D. (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities) & Tomasz Komendzinski, Ph.D. (Nicolaus Copernicus University) - POLAND 

Vibeke Lunding-Gregersen MSc Psych (Mindwork, Copenhagen), Ask Elklit Ph.D. (University of Southern Denmark), & Louise Dinesen MSc Psych – DENMARK

Russell Kolts Ph.D. (Eastern Washington University), & Yotam Heineberg, Ph.D. (Palo Alto University & Stanford University) - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Allison Kelly Ph.D.(University of Waterloo) – CANADA

Stan Steindl Ph.D., & James Kirby Ph.D. (University of Queensland) - AUSTRALIA

Kenichi Asano Ph.D. (Mejiro University, Tokyo) – JAPAN

Lorena llobenes Ph.D., Natali Gumiy MSc Psych, & Maria Ileana Costa MSc Psych (Motivacion Compasiva, Buenos Aires) – ARGENTINA

Gonzalo Brito Ph.D. (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) - CHILE, COLOMBIA, PERÚ, URUGUAY, MEXICO

Paola Lucena Santos Ph.D., Margareth Oliveira Ph.D. (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul), & Erika Leonardo de Souza Ph.D. (Universidade de São Paulo) – BRAZIL


Here we provide some information about what will be involved in this study. If you wish to discuss anything with the researchers before deciding to participate, please feel free to do so using the email address provided below. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.


1. What is the purpose of the study?

We are facing a world-wide pandemic which may impact on people’s wellbeing. The aim of the study is to look at how people cope with what’s happening and assess whether compassion for oneself and for others can reduce the impact of stress caused by this pandemic.


2. Why have I been invited?

You have been invited as you are an adult.


3. Do I have to take part?

No. You do not have to take part in the research if you don’t want to. Participation is voluntary and you will not be adversely affected if they choose not to take part in the study. Please take your time to think about whether you want to take part and if you would like to speak to someone about the study (e.g. the research team) before you decide to take part.


4. What will happen to me if I take part? What do I have to do?

If you decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form. You will share your email address with us so that we can send you the questionnaires in 3 months time and in 6 months time from now, this is to see if the way you feel and cope changes as the pandemic comes to an end. We estimate that completing questionnaires will take about 15-30 minutes.


5. What will happen if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

If you change your mind while participating in the study you can stop at any time and are free to withdraw your participation as well as any data we have collected. You can contact us to remove your data up until 10th January 2021.


6. Use of your data and your rights.

The University of Coimbra (UC), Portugal is the sponsor for this study. We will be using information from you in order to undertake this study and will act as the data controller for this study. This means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly for research purposes only. The University of Coimbra will keep identifiable information about you for 5 years after the study has finished.

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will not keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. You can find out more about how we use your information by contacting Dr. Russell Kolts (email:

The UC research team will keep your name, and contact details confidential and will not pass this information to other entities. The UC research team will use this information as needed, to contact you about the research study, and make sure that relevant information about the study is recorded for your care, and to oversee the quality of the study. The research team will only receive information without any identifying information. The people who analyse the information will not be able to identify you and will not be able to find out your name, or contact details. The UC research team will keep identifiable information about you from this study for up to 5 years after the study has finished.


7. What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

Although these are all well used questionnaires in many studies, because we are asking you about your relationships and how you are feeling at the moment they could be a little distressing. If you do experience any emotional or psychological difficulties as a result of the issues raised, you will be able to discuss this with the research team (Dr. Russell Kolts; email:, or alternatively, there are listening services available via 1-800-662-HELP (4357), who can connect you with mental health resources in your area.


8. What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The possible benefit of completing the questionnaires is that they will help us see how you are now and how things change over time. The benefit to wider society, is that we will better understand how people cope with this pandemic and what factors might protect their psychological wellbeing during the world-wide difficulties we are living.

9. Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential? Yes - all information collected will be kept strictly confidential. You will be asked to create a unique but memorable ID code (made up from the last 3 letters of your surname and the last two digits of your phone number: e.g. SON34) to match up the questionnaires completed after each assessment moment. All information provided by you will be stored anonymously on a password secured computer.


10. What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak with the research team (Dr. Russell Kolts; email:, who will do their best to answer your questions.

In the unlikely event that you feel you need to make a complaint regarding the use of your information, you can contact the Data protection officer at the University of Coimbra:


11. What will happen to the results of the study?

The results of the study will be written up for publication in an academic journal and may be presented at conferences. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the results, please tick the appropriate box on the consent form. Please be assured that you will not be identified in any reports or publications from the study.


12. Who has reviewed the study?

The study has been reviewed for ethical approval by the University of Coimbra Research Ethics Committee (i.e., Comissão de Ética para a Investigação da Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra) [ref:FPCEUC_CEDI060420].


13. Contact Details

For further information please contact the research team (Dr. Russell Kolts; email:






In this study it is very important that we have a representative picture of how COVID-19 is affecting american families. We would kindly ask you to share the link to this survey to your family members after you completed it. Your and their contribution is crucial in promoting a healthy approach to COVID-19.

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NOTE: I completed the survey and received this reply:

Dear Participant,

Thank you very much for agreeing to participate in this study. We hope you have found it a useful and interesting experience.

We will contact you in 3 months to ask you to complete some of the questionnaires again.

This research will inform us about psychological coping and emotional resilience during a world-wide pandemic and will inform us about whether compassion for self and others can reduce the impact of stress caused by such events. The research team appreciate you taking time out to participate and we hope you have enjoyed being part of this unique study.

We hope you found this a positive and interesting experience. If you have any questions or comments about any aspect of this study, please contact the research team (Dr. Russell Kolts; email: If the study has raised any emotional issues which you feel you need to discuss with somebody, you can contact 1-800-662-HELP (4357), who can connect you with mental health resources in your area

Please remember that your answers will remain confidential; they will only be used for the purposes of this study. If you wish to withdraw your data, please contact the research team and quote your ID code within the next 4 weeks.

Thank you once again for your support. We will happily share our findings with you via e-mail.

 Yours sincerely,

Dr Marcela Matos and Dr. Russell Kolts


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