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UT PATHS Study: A study designed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential transition to at-home work affects physical and mental health.

UT PATHS Study: A study designed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential transition to at-home work affects physical and mental health.

UT Professional Acute Transition Health Study

Millions of people around the globe work in home-based occupations, from tech support to online sales to web-based networking applications. In 2018, approximately 22% of Americans spent all or part of their day working at home. It is often assumed that working at home brings many advantages, including freedom and independence. But working at home requires discipline, structure, and an at-home working environment that facilitates completing necessary job tasks. Additionally, working from home, especially in an acute situation with little guidance as to how to manage time or accomplish needed tasks, can result in significant stress that may have long-lasting effects on lifetime physical and mental health.

Those who work at home frequently report feelings of depression, isolation, and loneliness. The current outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented number of individuals now experiencing an acute transition from traditional working environments to carrying out the bulk of their jobs at home via web-based interactions. Strategies traditionally open to at-home employees, such as working in public spaces or having working groups with whom to interact, are not currently available to these employees. These acutely transitioned at-home employees are working under significant stress and have been given few strategies for at-home working routines.

In addition, uncertainty about how long the situation may last or what the long-term consequences of such changes also contribute to anxiety. Newly transitioned at-home employees are either isolated from others or are forced to work in close quarters with other household members, while potentially juggling the care of children or older adults with work responsibilities. Fresh fruits and vegetables may be unavailable, and many have stocked their home pantries with staples like pasta, rice, beans, and cereal, which are often low in nutrient density and high in caloric density. In addition, many people are working extended hours sitting in front of a computer, without even the minimal routine of walking to and from their cars or around their workplace for exercise. Thus, this transition has the potential to significantly impact long-term physical and mental health by altering health behaviors, including nutritional intake, physical activity, stress-relief strategies, and household/family relationships

​Why Take This Survey?

In these unprecedented times, we would like to invite you to participate in a study designed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential transition to at-home work affects physical and mental health. The study consists of a series of short questionnaires (1-4 minutes each). We estimate that this survey series will take about 30 minutes to complete. All participants who finish one or more surveys and consent to be re-contacted will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 50 gift cards ($20 each). The number of entries into the drawing for each participant will be based on the number of questions completed. The more questions that you complete, the more times you will be entered into the drawings.




This research has been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Texas at Austin.If you have any questions about your rights as a participant in this study or wish to obtain information, ask questions, or discuss any concerns about this study with someone other than the researcher(s), please contact Dr. Fiona Asigbee at fiona.asigbee@utexas.edu or Dr. Molly Bray at mbray@austin.utexas.edu.