Research Programs: Integrated Research

Basic research for exploring the ideal medical intervention after the advent of the new coronavirus

Project Leader/Sub-Leader


SEKIZAWA Yoichi (Senior Fellow)



In this project, we will conduct following studies based on the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. We will conduct questionnaire surveys which will allows us to examine whether and how people's reactions to COVID-19 lead to changes in mental and physical conditions. Panel data will be constructed through several individual responses from the same people over a year.

2. In order to examine whether online interventions would work as substitutes of person-to-person consultations, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of internet cognitive behavioral therapy on "medically unexplainable physical symptoms" including “chronic pain". We will also conduct a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of virtual reality-type internet cognitive behavioral therapy on depressive symptoms. Both of the studies examine whether these cognitive behavioral interventions would lead to improvement in labor productivity.

3. Due to the Japanese experience of COVID-19, we doubt that medical resources are being diverted away from important fields such as emergency medical care for use in unnecessary fields. Using the data of specific health checkups for millions of people, we will examine whether specific health guidance is effective in reducing cardiovascular disease risk scores. We will also examine whether physical exercise and dietary habit corrections would lead to improvement of blood pressure and cholesterol level.

August 3, 2020 - January 31, 2023

Major Research Results


RIETI Discussion Papers