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March 23, 2021

British Academy report

AbScent community contributes to understanding the impact of Covid-19

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A research paper co-authored by Professor Barry Smith, Professor Claire Hopkins and the Altered Eating team Duika Burges Watson, Vincent Deary and Miglena Campbell and AbScent's own Chrissi Kelly has been cited in the British Academy's report on the social implications of Covid-19, published today (23 March 2021).

Chrissi says, "I’m delighted to report another step forward in our mission to have smell disorders recognised as the challenging and life changing conditions they are. The patient voice - represented by the AbScent community - has been heard."

The experiences and comments of the AbScent Facebook groups informed the research paper: Altered Smell and Taste: anosmia, parosmia and the impact of long Covid-19, currently in preprint. The researchers were able to analyse posts and comments made by the group to identify new patterns in the experience and impact of living with post-Covid-19 smell loss. 

The British Academy report goes beyond the immediate Covid-19 crisis and recognises the implications are far reaching for public health and wellbeing. In particular, it notes that anosmia and hyposmia need more attention, saying:

“The effect of these conditions on the daily lives of sufferers is considerable. Altered eating, appetite loss, weight change, loss of pleasure in food, altered intimacy in close personal relationships and an altered relationship to self and others are just some of the consequences of the condition.

Loss or distortion of smell also has consequences for sufferers’ mental health and may therefore require additional support."

AbScent is working hard to provide the support to address these issues now, and - with our colleagues, friends and community - to highlight the evidence that will change the story for people with smell disorders.

Sources: 

Altered Smell and Taste: anosmia, parosmia and the impact of long Covid-19

The Covid Decade. Understanding the long-term societal impacts of COVID-19