In Summary

  • An international collaborative study led by Dr Simon Knowles is researching the effect of the COVID-19 situation on people with gastrointestinal conditions
  • The period of isolation may have had a greater impact on people with gastrointestinal conditions
  • The findings of this study will inform decisions on the support needed for these individuals

An international consortium of researchers led by Swinburne researcher and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Simon Knowles, are exploring the impact of the COVID-19 situation on gastrointestinal symptoms. The study, which is being conducted via an online survey will also explore gastrointestinal condition management, fears relating to COVID-19 and psychological distress in individuals who have been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal condition.                                                     

Understanding how isolation has affected individuals with a gastrointestinal condition

The COVID-19 situation has had a pervasive impact on all of us, with many countries around the world implementing self-isolation procedures to reduce the spread of the virus and alleviate the pressure on healthcare services.

 “For around one in five individuals living with a gastrointestinal condition, this isolation may have resulted in greater physical and mental health impacts due to challenges with getting access to medications and health professionals,” says Dr Knowles.

Additionally, challenges in attaining basic necessities such as foods associated with specific dietary requirements and toilet paper could have also led to adverse effects. 

Paving the way for better support services

“The findings of this study will help us better understand how the COVID-19 situation has affected individuals who have a pre-existing gastrointestinal condition and inform decisions on the type of support services that are needed,” Dr Knowles explains.

The researchers are looking for participants who are at least 18 years of age, have been diagnosed with any type of gastrointestinal condition, and are able to read English to complete the online survey.

Those interested to know more about this research and participate in the study can visit the website:



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