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The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique and challenging situation, which has created a great deal of uncertainty for many requiring enormous changes to how they live their lives. However, people may experience and respond to the situation differently.

Military personnel are trained to demonstrate readiness and resilience in the face of the increasingly fast-paced nature of warfare operations and stressful environments. Having left the military, ex-serving personnel remain a unique, multifaceted population with a distinct culture that values selfless duty, codes of conduct, and obedience to command. However, transition experiences (from military to civilian life) vary greatly among ex-serving personnel.

The main aim of this study is to investigate the current experiences and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, wellbeing and lifestyle behaviours of ex-serving personnel. This project aims to identify potential emerging issues in this population and psychological indicators of resilience and vulnerability.

Other aims include comparisons with health, attitudes and lifestyle behaviours of ex-serving personnel before the COVID-19 pandemic, and also with groups in the general population, for example other occupational groups such as KCL or NHS staff.


The study protocol has been reviewed and approved by the King’s College London Research Ethics Committee (Ref: HR-19/20-18626).

Who are we?

The study is coordinated by King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King’s College London, which is the leading civilian United Kingdom centre of excellence for military health research. KCMHR is independent of the UK Ministry of Defence and our work has helped shape government policy towards military personnel, veterans and their families. Our research is conducted within the KCL governance framework which ensures that our work is carried out to high scientific and ethical standards. We will act as data controller for this study ; this means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly.


Office for Veterans’ Affairs

Information for participants

What information are we collecting?

Participants will be asked a range of questions on health, wellbeing, and lifestyle behaviours. Other key topics will include questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on employment, finances, volunteering, charitable giving, lifestyle behaviours, accommodation and living arrangements, help-seeking behaviours, as well as any positive changes during this period.

How will we share the findings of the study?

From these findings we will be able to make recommendations, particularly to the Office for Veterans' Affairs (OVA), to help them plan their support for ex-serving personnel and their families to better cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also help UK Armed Forces charities to develop or deliver services aimed at supporting veterans to overcome problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How long will we hold the data?

Data will be kept by KCMHR for twenty years as we may use the deidentified data in future research.

How do we keep your information safe and secure?

Data will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Data will be stored separately from personal information. No identifying information will be presented in any reports or publications. Online survey responses will be collected using REDCap survey software which will be hosted by King’s College London, on servers located in the UK. Any data held electronically will only be accessible by specified members of the research team who have been given authorisation to access the database. Authorised users are reviewed regularly and updated as needed. If you would like more information about how data will be processed in accordance with GDPR, please visit the following link:

What is the legal basis for holding these data?

The lawful basis for processing this information is:

Article 6(1.e) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

The special condition category is article 9(2)(j) of the GDPR: processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject.

Rights of access

Participants have the right to see the information we hold about them. If a participant would like to access their information they should contact the KCL Data Protection Officer: Mr Albert Chan (Assistant Director of Business Assurance) Information Compliance team, King's College London, Waterloo Campus Room 5.20, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA; or by email:

How can I object to my data being used?

Article 21 of the GDPR gives individuals the right to object to the processing of their personal data.

If you wish to object to your personal data being processed please email your reason(s) to the KCL Data Protection Officer: Mr Albert Chan (Assistant Director of Business Assurance) Information Compliance team, King's College London, Waterloo Campus Room 5.20, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA; or by email: Objections will be responded to without undue delay and within one month of receipt.


If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not lawful you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Our Data Protection Officer is Mr Albert Chan and you can contact them at Information Compliance team, King's College London, Waterloo Campus Room 5.20, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA; or email:

Information for researchers

We will not make any record-level data publicly accessible because we need to protect the confidentiality and security of the individual cohort members. You are welcome to contact us with proposals for collaborative research, which the investigators will consider on a case-by-case basis, and which will only occur as part of a legal collaborative agreement and after the collaborator has put in place the relevant research ethics, data protection, and data access approvals. Please contact the study:

Our Privacy Notices are regularly reviewed and updated.

Project status: Ongoing

Contact us

For general enquiries relating to the study, or to find out more about how we use your information, please email us: