See completed projects

COVID-19 vaccine literacy and acceptability in South Africa

CHSR&D researchers: Prof Michelle Engelbrecht, Dr Gladys Kigozi, Prof Christo Heunis, Dr André Janse van Rensburg

The study aims to assess people’s abilities to collect and understand information about vaccinations (i.e. vaccine literacy) in order to make an informed choice when opting whether or not to have the COVID-19 vaccine. We will undertake a cross-sectional anonymous online survey among the adult population (i.e. persons 18 years and older) in South Africa. The survey will be advertised on: 1) on social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter); and 2) the data free Moya app, which has over 5 million monthly active users and sends messages on the app to all subscribers.

Health and well-being of vulnerable families during COVID-19: A socio-ecological perspective

CHSR&D researchers:
Prof Michelle Engelbrecht, Dr Gladys Kigozi, Prof Christo Heunis

The study aims to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of vulnerable families. An adapted version of the Socio-Ecological Model will be used to investigate intra-personal, interpersonal, organisational, community and policy-level factors associated with the health and well-being of families. We will undertake a cross-sectional survey among vulnerable families residing in Mangaung Metropolitan area with additional insights gleaned from in-depth interviews. In collaboration with NGOs, 250 vulnerable families will be purposively recruited to participate. Families are defined as “nuclear families” consisting of parent(s) with their biological or adoptive children. Families are seen to be vulnerable when they receive support from social development services.

Experiences of drug-susceptible tuberculosis patients with symptoms of depression and anxiety: a cohort study of new patients in the Free State

CHSR&D researchers:
Dr Gladys Kigozi, Prof Christo Heunis Dr Michelle Engelbrecht

The aim of this study is to explore depression and anxiety among new patients on susceptible tuberculosis (TB) treatment in Mangaung Metropolitan District in the Free State. More specifically, the study seeks: 1) to determine the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety at treatment onset, after the intensive treatment phase (2 months) and at the end of treatment (6 months) among new susceptible TB patients; 2) to determine the influence of depression and anxiety on treatment outcomes of patients on susceptible TB treatment; 3) to explore experiences of TB patients with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety — narratives from the ground; and 4) to explore providers’ views of and experiences in managing TB patients with co-morbid depression and anxiety.

A prospective cohort study will be conducted among newly diagnosed susceptible TB patients registered between 1 July and 31 September 2019 in the Mangaung Metropolitan District. Data gathered through surveys and in-depth interviews with patients and key informant interviews with providers, as well as information from patient records will be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The study protocol will be submitted for review to the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee, University of the Free State. Authorisation to conduct the study among patients will be sought from the Free State Department of Health.

Funding: National Research Foundation


  • Situational analysis of the implementation of TB prevention and infection control strategies in Mangaung Metropolitan District (Completed 2016)
  • Tuberculosis prevention through systematic household contact investigation in the Free State, South Africa (Completed 2016)
  • Assessing the implementation of the Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) in Maluti-a-Phofung (Completed 2016)
  • PROLIFE: Improving TB outcomes by modifying lifestyle behaviours through a brief motivational intervention (Completed 2018)
  • Towards a health-enabling working environment: developing and testing interventions to decrease HIV- and TB-stigma among healthcare workers in the Free State, South Africa
  • Between a rock and a hard place: emotional well-being and work engagement of nurses who moonlight in Free State hospitals


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.