COVID-19 Emergency Responsive Assessment (CERA)
COVID-19 Emergency Response Assessment
This research is a survey of the psychological health of frontline doctors across anaesthetics, emergency medicine and intensive care medicine at three different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK & Ireland.


The Study

The CERA study sought to examine the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline doctors working in anaesthetics, emergency medicine & intensive care medicine. It was a study undertaken in collaboration with the Paediatric Emergency Research Network UK & Ireland (PERUKI), the Research and Audit Federation of Trainees (RAFT), Irish Trainee Emergency Research Network (ITERN) & Trainee Research in Intensive Care (TRIC).

The Data

We collected data on distress (using the General Health Questionnaire-12), post-traumatic stress symptoms (Impact of Events Scale – Revised), and personal & professional factors potentially associated with distress. We delivered three surveys, timed to coincide with the acceleration, peak, and deceleration of the first wave of the pandemic.

The Benefits

This research showed very high rates of distress at the acceleration & peak phase not previously seen in the literature, with some degree of natural recovery. There were a number of factors identified that were areas requiring further research. The high rates of trauma & distress has led to ongoing work examining how best we can help clinicians affected by their experiences, with follow-on work being performed in conjunction with the University of Bath, Oxford University & King’s College London.

The Results

Our acceleration survey response rate was 16% of all UK doctors (5440). The prevalence of psychological distress was 45% during the acceleration, 37% at the peak & 32% at the deceleration phase. The prevalence of trauma was 24% at the peak and 18% at deceleration. The prevalence of probably post-traumatic stress disorder was 13% at peak and 10% at deceleration. The factor that were most strongly associated with distress & trauma was worry of infecting family due to their clinical work.

Collaborative Work

COVID-19 Clinician Cohort (CoCCo) Study


RCEM Annual Scientific Conference 2020


Blog - RCEMLearning - Que CERA, CERA

Infographic - TERN - CERA Study

Article - Guardian - Doctors in UK and Ireland face 'ongoing distress' from Covid first wave

Article - Irish Examiner - Doctors suffered trauma and PTSD during and after first Covid-19 wave

Interview with LBC News - 18.01

Podcast - RCEM Learning - February 2021