COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Social and psychosocial determinants and consequences of the COVID19 epidemic and population confinement – EPIDEMIC

Quantitative analyses were carried out on existing data for the epidemiological approach, and on newly collected data for the psychological approach. The living conditions of confined people were described and examined by conducting semi-structured interviews over the telephone.

Epidemiological analyses showed that women were more at risk of Sars-Cov-2 infection than men, and this was probably due to their social roles, for example, in terms of work. The analyses also showed that people living in socially deprived areas in France were more likely to be infected with the virus yet less likely to have been tested. People responding to the psychology questionnaire clearly reported an impact of the lockdown measures on their emotional experiences. Psychological distress was associated with sociodemographic variables (age, gender), but also by contextual variables (type of housing, income) and by the feeling of loneliness. The qualitative analysis of interviews with parents with children during the strict lockdown period underlined social, economic and educational inequalities. If it was feasible, families reported reorganizing their priorities, however, others who were less privileged worried about the consequences of confinement on the trajectory of their children, sticking to rules, discipline and rhythms despite the constraints. A family monograph provided a chronological account of daily life in lockdown, showing the ways in which parents had to cope with different constraints. In spite of their socioeconomic precariousness, the parents were able to adapt the family's daily life by mobilising resources from their school and cultural capital.

Several new projects were written and funded based on the EPIDEMIC project

Based on this work, we were quickly able to produce Summary Notes in French and English, published on our website and widely disseminated. The epidemiological and psychological results were published in national and international scientific journals. The socio-anthropological findings have been published in national journals and accepted as book chapters. We have also contributed to numerous press articles and communications to journalists.

Submission summary

This interdisciplinary project combines disciplinary approaches from social epidemiology, psychology, social philosophy, and sociology in order to explore in real time the socio-economic and psychological determinants and consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic in France. It has two main objectives: 1) To describe the social epidemiology of the COVID-19 epidemic in France in demographic, socioeconomic and territorial terms 2) To examine the psychological, socio-cultural and economic consequences of forced isolation and social distancing at different times of confinement. Our working method, resolutely interdisciplinary, will consist in coordinating work Packages (WP), in three phases. In phase 1, we will define the concepts and variables common to the three WPs and proceed with data collection. In phase 2, we will implement quantitative analyses for social epidemiology and psychology, and qualitative analyses for philosophical and sociological research, ensuring the integration of our approaches at each stage of the analysis through regular interdisciplinary work meetings. In phase 3, we will work together to integrate and interpret our results and disseminate them. WP1 will retrieve medico-administrative data from public health and health agencies and conduct epidemiological analyses of the socio-demographic and socio-economic determinants of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The general aim of WP2 is to assess, in the general population, the psychological consequences of the containment of Covid-19 by a quantitative approach based on questionnaires. This will enable us to describe the psychological impact of Covid-19 and the associated containment on the psychological health of the French. WP3, based on a combination of qualitative approaches (questionnaires, semi-directive interviews and analysis of confinement narratives), will combine a sociological survey on the unequal conditions of confinement with a social philosophy reflection on issues of social justice in health prevention. The role of WP4 will be to integrate the approaches, concepts, variables and interpretations carried out in the complementary tasks of each WP in order to produce interdisciplinary expertise on the epidemic crisis and its management. This work will produce knowledge to guide public health decisions in times of crisis and to build public and population health strategies that are necessary and appropriate to accompany the next epidemic risks.

Project coordination

Michelle KELLY-IRVING (Institut Fédératif d’Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Santé et Société FED 4142)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CERPPS Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches en Psychopathologie et Psychologie de la Santé
CRESCO Centre de Recherches Sciences Sociales Sports et Corps
IFERISS Institut Fédératif d’Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Santé et Société FED 4142

Help of the ANR 49,609 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2020 - 18 Months

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