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Open AccessArticle

Increased Psychological Distress during COVID-19 and Quarantine in Ireland: A National Survey

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, D04 F6X4 Dublin, Ireland
Health Service Executive, CHO 8 (Laois/Offaly), R34 YFW6 Laois, Ireland
School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
Department of Psychology, University of Ulster (Psychology), Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3481;
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
Background: The emergence of the coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) resulted in a global pandemic. The psychological impact of an epidemic is multifaceted and acute, with long-term consequences. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey-based design was employed, assessing the psychological impact of COVID-19 on members of the Irish public during the quarantine period of COVID-19 in Ireland. Participants were invited to complete the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) retrospectively (prior to quarantine) and during the quarantine period, as well as measures of illness perceptions, well-being, and a bespoke measure (the Effects of COVID Questionnaire, ECQ), which assessed perceptions of COVID-related stresses associated with personal concerns, caring for children, caring for aging parents, as well as gratitude. Results: A total of n = 1620 entered the survey platform, with a total of n = 847 surveys completed by members of the Irish public. Entry into COVID-19 quarantine was associated with significant increases in clinically significant symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety. The ECQ reliably assessed a range of COVID-19-related stresses and had large and significant correlations with the DASS-21. Conclusions: The COVID-19 quarantine was associated with stresses and significant increases in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in a national Irish cohort. The public require increased access to mental health services to meet this increase in COVID-19-related psychological distress. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological distress; public; quarantine; COVID-19; mental health; Ireland psychological distress; public; quarantine; COVID-19; mental health; Ireland
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Burke, T.; Berry, A.; Taylor, L.K.; Stafford, O.; Murphy, E.; Shevlin, M.; McHugh, L.; Carr, A. Increased Psychological Distress during COVID-19 and Quarantine in Ireland: A National Survey. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 3481.

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