University of Regina professor receives funding for COVID-19 research project

News Release Release Date: March 20, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Dr. Gordon Asmundson, a psychology professor at the University of Regina, has received $400,000 in funding for his research project COVID-19: The Role of Psychological Factors in the Spreading of Disease, Discrimination, and Distress. This project is being conducted in collaboration with co-principal investigator Dr. Steven Taylor from the University of British Columbia. Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced that it would be providing $25 million, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to fund 49 COVID-19 research projects, in addition to the 47 projects it had previously announced on March 6.

During pandemics, psychological factors play a major role in the spread and containment of infection (e.g., adhering to social distancing guidelines) and in societally disruptive behaviour (e.g., infection-related discrimination, excessive fear and worry, overuse of healthcare resources). As such, psychological factors have important public health implications. This research will be a planned series of studies with the end goal of developing a rapid assessment system that can be used to assess, for any pandemic or major epidemic, infection-related excessive anxiety and xenophobia, and risk factors for these problems. To achieve this, Asmundson and his research team will conduct three studies, using community samples, with a specific focus on COVID-19.

The researchers began collecting nationally representative data from Canada and the United States this morning. *Dr. Asmundson is available for interviews by phone, Skype, or FaceTime. Contact Mindy Ellis to make arrangements.


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