View all news

Pregnant women needed for study on social distancing during COVID-19

Press release issued: 23 April 2020

Pregnant women who live in the Bristol area are invited to take part in a new COVID-19 study run by the University of Bristol. The PiP (Pregnant in a Pandemic) study aims to improve the social distancing guidance and support available to pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute-funded study is being carried out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's advice about social distancing to help pregnant women avoid catching and spreading the disease.

The project aims to recruit up to 30 women between the ages of 18 and 50 years who are currently pregnant and living in Bristol and surrounding areas. The researchers would like to hear their views and experiences during the current pandemic in a one-off 30-minute telephone or videocall interview.

This study will investigate pregnant women's views on:

  • the social distancing guidance;
  • ability to follow guidance;
  • the impacts that social distancing measures are having on them

Dr Emma Anderson, Health Psychologist and Senior Research Associate in the Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences (PHS), who is leading the study, said: "We are living in unprecedented times, which require mass behaviour change to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Pregnant women have been listed by Public Health England (PHE) as an 'at risk' group for serious illness from the disease and advise extra vigilance with social distancing restrictions compared to others.

"We currently do not know how easy it is for pregnant women to follow these restrictions, which is why we are running the study. Our findings will be shared with policymakers and could make a difference to other pregnant women within the current health crisis."

Women taking part in the study will be offered a £10 Amazon voucher in appreciation of their time.

Participation in the study is voluntary and participants will have the right to withdraw at any point.

To find out more about the study and how to take part, visit the PiP study website or email


Further information

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute-funded project 'COVID-19: Helping pregnant women adhere to behavioural restrictions' will run until 31 July 2020.

The research project is one of 25 projects announced from a recent Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Rapid Response Funding Call (COVID-19) that will undertake vital COVID-19 research to tackle the global health crisis.

Bristol's researchers are part of a global network of scientists responding urgently to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.
Find out how you can support their critical work.

About Elizabeth Blackwell Institute
Nurturing research. Improving health.

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute drives innovation in research to improve health for all. It nurtures interdisciplinary research to address the complex health challenges facing us today.

The institute focuses on:

  • Supporting the next generation of health researchers
  • Connecting people to develop interdisciplinary research
  • Including everyone in research so the research can benefit all.

As well as supporting research with funding the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute is also helping to connect research up across the University as a whole, so that people working on COVID-19 have the chance to work together, sharing resources and expertise. This aligns with the work that the Institute already supports to galvanise research across disciplines and groups, through research networks and thematic strands, ranging from Infection and Immunity to Medical Humanities. 

Edit this page