Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I share my story?

The HEART COVID-19 Care & Recovery Project was founded by a team of doctors and researchers studying how adults hospitalized for COVID-19 and adults who provide care for them are now managing recovery at home, and, especially, what kind of support they receive from friends, family, and the medical community. That’s what HEART means: Health Enhanced by Adjusting and Recovering Together.

If you choose to participate in HEART, we ask that you share your story of recovery or care during your COVID-19 journey. We have a lot to learn about how we can better support you, and our team of doctors and researchers believe we can do better by holding space to ask you what needs to change. Our goal? Making these improvements a reality. Because it’s true: caring doesn’t end at the hospital doors.

How do I share a story?

You can share your story by visiting the “Share Your Story” tab in the main navigation menu, by selecting the “Share Your Story” button on the homepage, or by copying and pasting https://heart.isr.umich.edu/share-your-story/ into your Internet browser.

Once there, you have the option of selecting your perspective and confirming you are over the age of 18. Then, you will be prompted to enter an Invitation Code and select your preferred method of sharing your story (text entry or voice recording). For more information about Invitation Codes and voice recordings, please visit “Where is my Invitation Code?” and “If I choose to upload a voice recording, what do I need to use to record myself?”

Do I need to be 18 to participate?

Yes. You must be 18 years of age or older to consent and share your story with the HEART COVID-19 Care & Recovery Project. We are looking to hear from two perspectives:

  • Adults (age 18 years and older) who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and went home to recover
  • Adults (age 18 years and older) who were or are caring for someone who was hospitalized with COVID-19

Do I need to live in Michigan to participate?

No. While our recruitment and preliminary research outcomes will serve Michigan residents, you may share your story regardless of where you live.

Where is my Invitation Code?

You have an Invitation Code if you or a care partner received a letter, email, or phone call from a member of the research team. These Invitation Codes let us know who is sharing a story, so that we know how your stories fit together. If you have trouble finding your Invitation Code, you can always contact a member of our research team by emailing heartstories@umich.edu.

If you or a care partner haven’t heard from us directly, you do not have an Invitation Code. That is okay! Just select “No, but I’d like to share my story anyway” when prompted. At the end of the survey, you’ll have the option of identifying an adult who provides you with care or who you’re caring for. By doing this, you’ll receive an email that contains an Invitation Code you can share with them, so that they can share their own story, too.

If I choose to upload a voice recording, what do I need to use to record myself?

Here are our recommendations for completing a HEART voice recording:

  • Choose a quiet location to record your story.
  • Use your favorite recording app to record your story. HEART does not provide or recommend a specific voice recording app, but many are available online.
  • Follow along here (https://heart.isr.umich.edu/share-your-story/) to reach the Story Question Guide. Use the Story Question Guide to craft your story.
  • When you are finished, upload your audio file recording where prompted beneath the Story Question Guide.
    • Files must be in one of these popular formats: mp3, wav, or aif.
    • At this time, we are unable to accept video recordings (such as mp4).

Do I get paid for participating?

No. You will not receive payment for sharing your story through the web portal (https://heart.isr.umich.edu/). However, you would receive $25 if you are selected for and complete a follow-up interview with a member of the research team. For more information about follow-up interviews, please visit “Does everybody get a follow-up interview?”

Does everybody get a follow-up interview?

No. When you share your story, we will ask for your contact information and permission to invite you for a follow-up interview. These interviews take place virtually, through telephone or video conferencing. While our research team would like to interview as many people as possible, we may not have the capacity for everyone who shares a story. If you qualify and are selected, a member of the research team will contact you. For more information about payment, please visit “Do I get paid for participating?”

What are your privacy policies?

We will protect the confidentiality of your research information with strict security procedures. Specifically, all data will be stored on a secure Institute for Social Research server or on Box for U-M, a cloud-based storage solution. Your data will be kept separate from any personally identifiable information that could be used to link your name and any sensitive information you provide. If you were discharged from a hospital, your data from this study will not be made a part of your regular medical record.

With appropriate permissions, the information we collect about you may be shared with other researchers, here, around the world, and with companies. Your identifiable private information may be stripped of identifiers and used for future research studies or distributed to another researcher for future research studies without additional informed consent. For example, we may share de-identified data we collect about you in an open-access (public) scientific database on the Internet. The open-access database contains information about many people. Your data will have all identifying and potentially-identifying information removed before submission.

If you tell us or we learn something that makes us believe that you or others have been or may be harmed, we may be required to report that information to the appropriate agencies.

Why is the P&G logo on your website?

UM collaborates with P&G on various research projects. The HEART COVID-19 Care & Recovery Project receives a portion of funding from The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). Partnering on this work supports P&G’s commitment to serve, support and empower people and their families and communities through COVID-19. The results from this effort may provide insights to P&G to help improve their product offerings. No personally identifiable data will be shared with P&G.

How can I hear about what you learn from this research?

Our research team will periodically share updates through an emailed newsletter. You can register for our newsletter and follow our updates by visiting the “News” tab in the main navigation menu, or by copying and pasting https://heart.isr.umich.edu/news/ into your Internet browser

Where can I find resources about caregiving?

We’ve compiled resources about COVID-19 and caregiving that may benefit you or someone you know. Our research team values your safety and well-being and encourages your use of these resources. You can view these resources by visiting the “Resources” tab in the main navigation menu, or by copying and pasting https://heart.isr.umich.edu/resources/ into your Internet browser. Always call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or experiencing an emergency.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You can contact our Participant Coordinator by emailing heartstories@umich.edu or calling (734) 763-0255 and leaving a voicemail. We thank you for your interest and will get back to you as soon as we can.

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