UCD Covid-19 Response

The UCD Community is rising to the challenge posed by the global pandemic

PAUSE: a remote psychological tool for the public during the Covid-19 pandemic

Lead Researcher: Dr Tom Burke, UCD School of Psychology


Covid-19 has effects far beyond the disease itself. The pandemic is also having a psychological impact, in the form of low mood, anxiety, irritability and increased distress. How can research support people’s resilience during this time?

A new project, funded by the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council, will develop an online intervention designed for the general public called PAUSE that people can use remotely and at their own pace. The result will be a helpful resource for people, specifically those experiencing increased distress during the pandemic.

What is the issue?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, people are experiencing increased psychological stresses such as anxiety, low mood and irritability.

What will the research project do?

The project will develop a series of online sessions into a portable phone app, called the PAUSE programme. People can use the PAUSE programme remotely, to help support psychological flexibility.

What will the impact be?

By providing an online and free resource, the research will help to support the psychological health and wellbeing of people during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Lead Researcher Dr Tom Burke, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University College Dublin School of Psychology, said: “The PAUSE programme is an evidence-based resource for people, designed to support psychological well-being and enhance positive aspects of mental health. Importantly, the PAUSE programme is designed to be accessible, remote and self-directed to best meet the needs of the person using it. This application has the capacity to support people not only during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also those experiencing a post-COVID syndrome, and those who may also benefit from increased access to psychological supports, such as informal family carers and people with neurological conditions."



Project Team

Lead Researcher: Dr Tom Burke


Professor Alan Carr, Professor Louise McHugh, Professor Mark Shevlin, Dr Eddie Murphy, Dr Diane Gillan, Dr Laura K. Taylor, Dr Katie Barrett, Mr Niall Breslin, Ms Anna Berry, and Mr Owen Stafford