Periscope - a Pan-European Response to the ImpactS of COVID-19 and future Pandemics and Epidemics

Periscope was a large-scale research project that involved a consortium of 32 European institutions to investigate the implications of COVID-19 in a broad way, which included the socio-economic impacts, the health impacts and the impacts on the health systems.

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Periscope was a Horizon 2020 research project, funded with almost 10 MEUR under the Coronavirus Global Response initiative launched in May 2020 by the European Commission, and finalised in November 2023. 

The project aimed to understand the social, economic, behavioural and mental health-related aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic,  to develop solutions and provide policy guidance to prepare Europe for future large-scale epidemic outbreaks. 

Karolinska Institutet was the lead of the project work with mental health impacts and focuses on exploring levels of mental health and service consumption across EU-countries.

The main goals of Periscope:

  • To gather data on the broad impacts of COVID-19 in order to develop a comprehensive, user-friendly, openly accessible COVID Atlas, which should become a reference tool for researchers and policymakers, and a dynamic source of information to disseminate to the general public;
  • To perform innovative statistical analysis on the collected data, with the help of various methods including machine learning tools;
  • To identify successful practices and approaches adopted at the local level, which could be scaled up at the pan-European level for a better containment of the pandemic and its related socio-economic impacts; and
  • To develop guidance for policymakers at all levels of government, in order to enhance Europe’s preparedness for future similar events and proposed reforms in the multi-level governance of health.

Periscope at Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet led the project work with mental health impacts, focusing on levels of mental health and service consumption across EU-countries. 

We mapped changes in levels of self-reported mental health problems and mental health care utilisation over time in relation to policies (e.g. lock downs),”Covid-load” and socioeconomic factors in different countries and regions. Furthermore we investigated mental health in vulnerable groups by looking at changes of utilisation of mental health care over time among migrants, refugees and homeless people compared to the general population.

Research questions

  • How is the wellbeing and mental health of the general population affected by covid-19 regulations , economic instability and Covid-load in the wake of the pandemic?
  • Are vulnerable groups particularly affected?
  • How do these secondary consequences of the corona pandemic effect the mental health of citizens of European regions differently?

The Covid Atlas

One of the main outcomes of this project is the PERISCOPE Atlas: an interactive tool that allows to visualize and analyze COVID-19-related health, economic and sociopolitical data. KI is one of the partners that have been feeding collected data into the Atlas. The Atlas is already available and open-access and can be found here:

One Health

Together with the Federation of the European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) a course providing basic knowledge and contextualisation of One Health in creeping crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, was developed. The course is primarily aimed at highly specialised technical professional groups (healthcare authorities, policymakers, researchers and other academics) interested in learning more about the One Health approach and can be found here: 


Overall budget: € 9 993 475

Project coordinator: the University of Pavia (Italy)

Project dates: 1 November 2020 - 31 October 2023

Funded under:

  • H2020-EU.3.1.1.
  • H2020-EU.3.6.1.

Grant agreement ID: 101016233


Contact person for the project

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Christina Dalman

Project lead mental health

Project members:

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Walter Osika

PI Periscope
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Maria Niemi

Periscope team KI

Pär Flodin

Periscope team KI
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Hanna Johans

Periscope team KI
Content reviewer:
Hanna Johans