Nicola Torrance
Image by: Euan Stewart, CCB Student on placement in the Research Strategy & Policy department

Covid-19: Can the effects be for life?

By Lucy Young, Creative & Cultural Business Student on placement in the Research Strategy & Policy department - 22 April 2022

Dr Nicola Torrance discusses the long-covid study that she and fellow RGU researchers are involved in, funded by Scottish Government through the Chief Scientists Office.

Coronavirus has been a shadow over the world for the past two years, with millions succumbing to the illness, and billions feeling the effects. On the front lines of the pandemic has been healthcare workers, many of which contracting the virus themselves. One of the major issues that people who have had covid can experience is a condition dubbed “long-covid”, where patients suffer from long term illness or disability as a result of contracting the virus. Researcher Dr Nicola Torrance is one of the RGU staff that are currently working on a project that combines these two issues, investigating the effect of long covid on healthcare workers.  

We sat down with Dr Nicola Torrance to discuss her work on the project. 

Dr Torrance is a Senior Research Fellow at Robert Gordon University and has spent the past twenty years working at various institutions. With her focuses being chronic and neuropathic pain, and health related quality of life care, she has become involved in this covid research project. As her expertise is in chronic pain, this study highly benefits from the information she can give, as long-covid is a chronic illness. 

An issue that Dr Torrance discussed was the lack of outlets for sufferers of long-covid to discuss their illness. Often GPs can’t help, and there are no specialist practices that offer support to these people. This illness is such a new problem for the UK medical system, and this new wave of disabled individuals is proving to be too much for the current long-term outpatient system to handle. So, we need a change. This is what the Long Covid in Healthcare workers (LoCH) study is looking into.  

Dr Torrance, alongside a team of other researchers has been interviewing those who contracted the virus whilst working on the front lines of healthcare and have come to experience long-covid. They hope that the outcome will be a more informed look at how to assist these people, many of which have had their lives permanently altered due to catching the virus. Developing more facilities, using resources more effectively, and helping more people live their lives with ease again are some things that we can hope to do with the information that our researchers are currently gathering. 

This is an ongoing study, so no official reports or findings have yet been released, however we are eager in coming months to see what this incredibly important research will show us.

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