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Open AccessArticle

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

1
School of Psychology, University College Dublin, D04 F6X4 Dublin, Ireland
2
Health Service Executive, CHO 8 (Laois/Offaly), R34 YFW6 Laois, Ireland
3
School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
4
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113481
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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