When Distance is an Act of Love: Exploring the use of Video Diaries for Family Members of Intensive Care Patients.

Grant number: COV19\201403

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Edinburgh, School of Health in Social Science
  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory

    Approaches to public health interventions

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



Due to Covid-19, intensive care (ICU) patients are not allowed visitors or have severely restricted visiting at the end of life. Most ICU patients are unconscious or extremely weak and cannot speak on a phone or video call to their family. Before these visiting restrictions, family members of ICU patients were already known to suffer significant psychological distress and now face increased distress as they are unable to visit. NHS Scotland are introducing video diaries as an emergency measure to try to support communication with families and reduce distress. The diaries may have a positive impact but there is a risk they could also have negative effects. We will explore staff and family members' experiences of using video diaries and test out using measures of distress and psychological well-being of family members. We can then make some initial recommendations and plan a larger subsequent study to test effect.