UK HealthCare

Volunteers Needed for Survey on Sleep, Stress, Alcohol Use During COVID-19 Outbreak

The University of Kentucky Public Relations & Strategic Communications Office provides a weekly health column available for use and reprint by news media. This week's column is by Jessica Weafer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Psychology.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements have affected every aspect of our lives, often causing anxiety, uncertainty and disrupted routines. In a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half (45%) of Americans reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.

Such stressful situations, especially when they last for a long time, can lead to harmful health behaviors like increased alcohol consumption and trouble sleeping. But everyone reacts differently, often depending on their background, social support from family or friends, financial situation, health, the community they live in and many other factors.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are working to understand how the pandemic has affected people’s wellbeing, and which groups may be particularly at risk for negative outcomes. We hope to gain a better understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on sleep and alcohol use so that we will be better prepared to prevent and treat psychological effects of COVID-19 pandemic or similar outbreaks in the future.

You can make a difference by taking a confidential survey about the effects of COVID-19 on your sleep, stress and alcohol consumption.

We are asking adults of all ages and walks of life to take this survey to help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on health behaviors. The survey takes about 25 minutes to complete and all information is kept private.

You may be eligible to participate if you are at least 21 years old, have internet access and can read and understand English. Drinking alcohol is not a requirement of this study.

Take the survey now, and share it with your friends and family.

If you have questions about the study, please contact Dr. Mairead Moloney at or 859-813-0094.

Learn more about joining us discovery, including other ways to participate in research from home, at

This study is supported by pilot funding from the UK CURE Alliance and the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.