Special Issue "Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Coronaviruses (CoV) and COVID-19 Pandemic".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2021) | Viewed by 25281

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Fabrizia Giannotta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mälardarens University, Vasteras, Sweden
Interests: mental health; alcohol and substance use; preventive interventions
Dr. Yunhwan Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lund University, Sweden
Interests: mental health; resilience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having serious consequences for the health of individuals. Worldwide, millions of people have died, and the number of victims is expected to increase. Other than these terrible immediate effects, the pandemic is likely to have some equally worrying long-term effects. According to WHO, one of these effects will definitely concern the mental health of individuals. The pandemic has brought about numerous changes in life which are likely to have substantive implications on mental health, such as: social distancing, the restrictions to individual freedom, the fear of a still relatively unknown virus, the economic crisis due to the pandemic, and the loss of loved ones are factors likely to differently affect the mental health of all individuals. In addition, as some studies have already started to show, the effects of the pandemic on people, including on their mental health, may be different depending on various factors (i.e., age, SES, and social support, to name a few).

In this Special Issue, we aim to fill the research gap regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Therefore, we welcome articles, reviews, and commentaries that will shed a light on:

- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of individuals in different sociodemographic groups (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, immigration status, SES);

- The identification of risk and protective factors that put individuals at more vs. less at risk for mental health problems during the pandemic period;

- Effective intervention strategies to prevent the negative psychological effects of the pandemic for all or for different sociodemographic groups.

Quantitative, qualitative, case-studies, or mixed-methods studies are welcomed.

Dr. Fabrizia Giannotta
Dr. Yunhwan Kim
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Mental health
  • COVID-19
  • Children
  • Adults
  • Older Adults
  • Socioeconomic differences
  • Risk-factors
  • Protective factors
  • Preventive interventions

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Article
The Moderating Effect of Resilience on Mental Health Deterioration among COVID-19 Survivors in a Mexican Sample
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020305 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Resilience has been reported to be a protective psychological variable of mental health; however, little is known about its role in COVID-19 survivors. Thus, in this study, we aimed to evaluate the levels of depression, anxiety, stress, traumatic impact, and resilience associated with [...] Read more.
Resilience has been reported to be a protective psychological variable of mental health; however, little is known about its role in COVID-19 survivors. Thus, in this study, we aimed to evaluate the levels of depression, anxiety, stress, traumatic impact, and resilience associated with COVID-19, as well as to investigate the role of resilience as a moderating variable. A sample of 253 participants responded to an online survey; all were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 by a nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR test, were older than 18 years, and signed an informed consent form. Significant negative correlations were found between resilience and the mental health variables. Higher resilience was significantly related to a lower impact of the event, stress, anxiety, and depression when the number of symptoms was low. Only when the duration of COVID-19 was short and resilience levels were medium or high was psychological distress reduced. Moreover, resilience moderated the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, even if a relapse occurred. The results emphasize the need for interdisciplinary interventions aimed at providing COVID-19 patients with psychological and social resources to cope with the disease, as well as with probable relapses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Post-Traumatic Growth during COVID-19: The Role of Perceived Social Support, Personality, and Coping Strategies
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020224 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Although many studies on mental health have been conducted among various populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have focused on post-traumatic growth (PTG) in the general population. The current study aimed to explore whether perceived social support, personality, and coping strategies are [...] Read more.
Although many studies on mental health have been conducted among various populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have focused on post-traumatic growth (PTG) in the general population. The current study aimed to explore whether perceived social support, personality, and coping strategies are associated with PTG in the COVID-19 pandemic period. The study also investigated whether coping strategies mediate the relations between perceived social support, personality, and PTG. A total of 181 participants (Mage = 24) completed the self-report questionnaire online, which was distributed via various online channels, mainly in China and Sweden. The relations between the study variables were examined with correlation analyses and a multiple mediation analysis. Results showed that more than half of the participants (60.8%) reported experiences of PTG during the pandemic. Additionally, perceived social support, personality traits (extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and coping strategies (problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping, and social support coping) were positively correlated with PTG. In addition, coping strategies (problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping, and avoidance coping) mediated the relations between perceived social support, personality traits and PTG. Theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed, concluding that the findings of this study have the potential to guide intervention efforts to promote positive change during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
The Impact of Migration Status on Adolescents’ Mental Health during COVID-19
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010176 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare mental health in adolescents with and without migration background after a semester of remote schooling and almost a year of social distancing in Austria. An online survey, supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare mental health in adolescents with and without migration background after a semester of remote schooling and almost a year of social distancing in Austria. An online survey, supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, was conducted from 3rd February to 28th February 2021 measuring well-being (WHO-5), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep quality (ISI), stress (PSS-10), and disordered eating (EAT-8). A matched-pairs analysis with and without migration background was conducted and was checked with whole sample analysis. From a total of 3052 participants, N = 508 had a migration background (first or second generation) and N = 479 could be matched according to age, gender, region, and education with adolescents without migration background. Matched-pairs analyses showed that migration background is associated with poorer mental health concerning well-being, depression, anxiety, and insomnia scores (all p-values < 0.05). Prevalence of depressive symptoms (64.5% vs. 56.5%), anxiety symptoms (53.5% vs. 46.0%), as well as insomnia (31.9% vs. 21.0%) is higher in adolescents with migration background (all p-values ≤ 0.02). Comparison of the whole sample (N = 3052) confirmed these results. Results suggest that migration status is a risk factor for mental health problems among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the need to implement easily accessible culture- and language-specific health promotion and prevention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
Article
Risk Factors for Relapse in People with Severe Mental Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicenter Retrospective Study
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010064 - 30 Dec 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Background: Evidence suggests that different variables associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may increase the risk of relapse in people with Severe Mental Disorders (SMDs). However, no studies have yet looked closely at the different risk factors involved to determine their influence on the [...] Read more.
Background: Evidence suggests that different variables associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may increase the risk of relapse in people with Severe Mental Disorders (SMDs). However, no studies have yet looked closely at the different risk factors involved to determine their influence on the worsening of these patients’ illnesses. Objective: To analyze which variables related to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the risk of relapse in patients with SMDs. Method: A multicenter retrospective cohort study in which data were collected from 270 patients with mental disorders who had been under follow-up in day hospitals during the year 2020. Results: The proportion of full mental health inpatient admissions was significantly higher in those who lost their employment (40.7% vs. 18.1%; p = 0.01), in those who were not receiving psychotherapy interventions (33.9% vs. 16.6%; p = 0.006), and in those who were not receiving occupational therapy (25.7% vs. 13.6%: p = 0.013). Significant associations were detected between urgent mental health consultations, the number of COVID-19 symptoms (B = 0.274; p = 0.02), and the low-income group (1.2424 vs. 0.4583; p = 0.018). Conclusions: COVID-19 symptoms and certain consequences of the pandemic, such as loss of employment, economic hardship, and loss of interventions, have brought about clinical worsening in people with SMDs. Knowledge of these factors is important for health-related decision-making in future outbreaks or pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
Article
Post-Traumatic Growth in Professionals Caring for People with Intellectual Disabilities during COVID-19: A Psychological Intervention
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010048 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Background: Health professionals present a greater vulnerability to the effects of COVID-19 on their mental health, especially those who work with vulnerable groups such as those who suffer from intellectual disability (ID). The objective of the present research was to develop and verify [...] Read more.
Background: Health professionals present a greater vulnerability to the effects of COVID-19 on their mental health, especially those who work with vulnerable groups such as those who suffer from intellectual disability (ID). The objective of the present research was to develop and verify the effectiveness of a psychological intervention for professionals in the field of ID to improve their mental health during this health crisis. Methods: A total of 32 professionals participated. The variables measured were: post-traumatic growth, mental health, burnout, coping strategies, resilience, life satisfaction, optimism, and cognitive and affective empathy. Results: The results revealed statistically significant differences in the post-traumatic growth variable. In the rest of the variables (mental health, burnout, coping strategies, resilience, vital satisfaction, optimism, and empathy), no significant differences between groups were found. Conclusions: An increase in the levels of post-traumatic growth was observed in the intervention group after a brief online psychological intervention. However, given the small sample size, these results should be taken with caution. Institutions should foster and promote interventions aimed at reducing the high emotional impact produced by COVID-19 in professionals that care for people diagnosed with ID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Relationships among the Internal Health Locus of Control, Mental Health Problems, and Subjective Well-Being of Adults in South Korea
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111588 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to confirm the relationship between internal health locus of control, mental health problems, and subjective well-being in adults during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the mediating effect of mental health problems on the relationship between internal [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to confirm the relationship between internal health locus of control, mental health problems, and subjective well-being in adults during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the mediating effect of mental health problems on the relationship between internal health locus of control and subjective well-being was examined. A cross-sectional descriptive design was conducted via online survey. The participants were 600 adults over 20 years of age living in South Korea. The collected data were analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis and SPSS Process Macro (Model 4). As a result of the study, the internal health locus of control had a significant negative effect on mental health problems. In addition, in the process of the internal health locus of control affecting subjective well-being, the mediating effect of mental health problems was significantly shown. In the period of an infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19, it is necessary to establish a strong internal health locus of control of individuals and to promote monitoring and treatment introduction for those with a low internal health locus of control. In addition, it was discussed that controlling mental health problems can improve subjective well-being, which is life satisfaction and happiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Changes in Mental Health and Views on Communication and Activities of Public Institutions among Swedes during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Cross-Sectional Repeated Measures Design
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111498 - 03 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 632
Abstract
Although many studies have been conducted on the effects of COVID-19 on individual lives, only a few focus on the changes in mental health and views of public institutions during the pandemic. This study aimed to investigate how mental health, i.e., life satisfaction, [...] Read more.
Although many studies have been conducted on the effects of COVID-19 on individual lives, only a few focus on the changes in mental health and views of public institutions during the pandemic. This study aimed to investigate how mental health, i.e., life satisfaction, worries, and psychological distress, and views on public institutions’ communication and activities have changed among Swedes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether this was moderated by age and sex. In April–May 2020 (survey 1) and in January–February 2021 (survey 2), 2554 adults and 1904 newly recruited adults, respectively, anonymously completed online surveys. We found that life satisfaction and psychological distress did not change from survey 1 to survey 2. However, the level of worries increased, and the positive views of the public institutions decreased. Moreover, worries and psychological distress increased more in young adults than older adults. Finally, the change in the views of the public institutions was not related to the change in worries. Our results highlight the COVID-19 long-term impacts on individual mental health and call for the need for future research concerning the consequences for the population, especially among young adults. The results also indicate that the views on activities of public authorities decreased over time, especially among men. Given that loss of this trust can have vastly negative effects, for instance, on the vaccine campaign, it is important to monitor this trend, to increase awareness among Swedish authorities. The results also stress for institutions to provide adequate support both during the COVID-19 pandemic and in a future crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Stress Levels and Mental Well-Being among Slovak Students during e-Learning in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101356 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic has forced far-reaching changes in higher education. Isolation from peers and distance learning have significantly limited interpersonal contacts, which might have affected the mental well-being of students. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic has forced far-reaching changes in higher education. Isolation from peers and distance learning have significantly limited interpersonal contacts, which might have affected the mental well-being of students. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and the level of perceived stress during e-learning among Slovak students and to identify the variables that have the most significant impact on mental health among students. The study included 3051 participants, 1773 women (58%) and 1278 (42%) with a mean age of 22.37 years. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) were used to measure the severity of stress and depression level. In addition, an author’s survey was used assessing the areas of social life, education skills, economic field, nutrition habits, and drugs. Almost all study participants were characterized by increased stress level and 47% of them were depressed. Moreover, isolation affected women more, especially in terms of social life and economics. It seems necessary to implement appropriate support programs for students, which could have the potential to improve their psychological condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Chinese Teachers during COVID-19 Pandemic: Roles of Fear of COVID-19, Nomophobia, and Psychological Distress
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101288 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
There are limited data concerning the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among teachers. Therefore, the present study estimated the prevalence of PTSD among mainland Chinese teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to construct a model with mediation and moderation effects to explain [...] Read more.
There are limited data concerning the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among teachers. Therefore, the present study estimated the prevalence of PTSD among mainland Chinese teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to construct a model with mediation and moderation effects to explain the PTSD. Data collection was conducted in schools in the Jiangxi province between October and November 2020 among k-12 schoolteachers. An online survey, including five different psychometric scales, was used to collect data. All participants were assessed for PTSD using the Chinese version of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Hayes’ PROCESS Model 8 was used to examine the potential factors explaining a higher PTSD scores. A total of 2603 teachers from k-12 schools participated. With the cutoff score at 31, the prevalence of PTSD was 12.3% but decreased to 1.0% when the cutoff score was at 49. Nomophobia moderated the effects of Fear of COVID-19 Scale on PTSD. The findings suggest that fear of COVID-19 among teachers leads to PTSD via psychological distress, highlighting the moderating effect of nomophobia in this association. Based on the study’s findings, psychological interventions and educational training are needed to reduce fear among teachers at higher risk of developing PTSD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
The Effect of Primary and Middle School Teachers’ Problematic Internet Use and Fear of COVID-19 on Psychological Need Thwarting of Online Teaching and Psychological Distress
Healthcare 2021, 9(9), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9091199 - 11 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Problematic Internet use (PIU) is a risk factor for psychological distress during COVID-19, as teachers are a psychologically vulnerable population. We explored the role of PIU in terms of primary and middle school teachers’ fear of COVID-19 and psychological need thwarting (PNT) of [...] Read more.
Problematic Internet use (PIU) is a risk factor for psychological distress during COVID-19, as teachers are a psychologically vulnerable population. We explored the role of PIU in terms of primary and middle school teachers’ fear of COVID-19 and psychological need thwarting (PNT) of online teaching. We empirically evaluated the relationships among these research variables in explaining teachers’ psychological distress during COVID-19. Online survey data were collected from 9030 teachers. A high proportion of participants demonstrated psychological distress: depression (20.4%), anxiety (26.4%), and stress (10.2%). Structural equation modeling was used to test our proposed conceptual model, wherein PIU behaviors served as predictors, mediated by fear of COVID-19 and PNT of online teaching, for teachers’ psychological distress. With ideal model fit, the results of the path coefficients indicated that PIU behaviors were associated with fear of COVID-19 (p < 0.001); fear of COVID-19 and PNT of online teaching were associated with psychological distress (p < 0.001); and fear of COVID-19 was also positively associated with PNT of online teaching (p < 0.001). PSU and PSMU had an indirect positive effect on psychological distress through the mediator of fear of COVID-19 and PNT of online teaching. As such, we suggest that school administrators pay greater attention to teachers’ psychological needs through efforts to enhance teachers’ autonomy and relatedness from interpersonal relationships, alleviating PNT of online teaching. Our PNT of online teaching scale may also serve as a contribution for further research and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Sleep as a Priority: 24-Hour Movement Guidelines and Mental Health of Chinese College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Healthcare 2021, 9(9), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9091166 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Research on the combined role of 24-hour movement behaviors (sleep, sedentary behavior [SB], and physical activity) in adult mental health, though important, is in its infancy. In the context of Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines integrating quantitative recommendations for sleep, SB, and moderate-to-vigorous physical [...] Read more.
Research on the combined role of 24-hour movement behaviors (sleep, sedentary behavior [SB], and physical activity) in adult mental health, though important, is in its infancy. In the context of Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines integrating quantitative recommendations for sleep, SB, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), this study aimed to examine the associations between meeting guidelines and mental health among college students. The study used a cross-sectional sample of 1846 Chinese college students surveyed online in August 2020. Through network analysis and multivariate analysis of covariance, the individual and combined associations between meeting 24-hour movement guidelines and the levels of depression and anxiety after adjusting sociodemographic factors were analyzed. Results indicated that meeting the sleep guideline had stronger associations with depression and anxiety than meeting the SB or MVPA guideline. Specifically, compared to meeting no guidelines, meeting the sleep guideline (alone or in combination with other guidelines) was associated with significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety; meeting both SB and MVPA guidelines was also associated with a significantly lower level of depression. Hence, meeting more guidelines, especially adhering to a healthy sleep routine, may play an important role in promoting the mental health of young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Prevalence, New Incidence, Course, and Risk Factors of PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and Panic Disorder during the Covid-19 Pandemic in 11 Countries
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060664 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
We aimed to evaluate the prevalence and incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and panic disorder (PD) among citizens in 11 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. We explored risks and protective factors most associated with the development of these mental health [...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate the prevalence and incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and panic disorder (PD) among citizens in 11 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. We explored risks and protective factors most associated with the development of these mental health disorders and their course at 68 days follow up. We acquired 9543 unique responses via an online survey that was disseminated in UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, India, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Sweden. The prevalence and new incidence during the pandemic for at least one disorder was 48.6% and 17.6%, with the new incidence of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorder being 11.4%, 8.4%, 9.3%, and 3%, respectively. Higher resilience was associated with lower mental health burden for all disorders. Ten to thirteen associated factors explained 79% of the variance in PTSD, 80% in anxiety, 78% in depression, and 89% in PD. To reduce the mental health burden, governments should refrain from implementing many highly restrictive and lasting containment measures. Public health campaigns should focus their effort on alleviating stress and fear, promoting resilience, building public trust in government and medical care, and persuading the population of the measures’ effectiveness. Psychosocial services and resources should be allocated to facilitate individual and community-level recovery from the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Burnout in Health Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Comparing Mental Health Professionals and Other Healthcare Workers
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060635 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
The psychological impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers has been assessed worldwide, but there are limited data on how mental health professionals (MHPs) have been affected. Thus, this paper aims to investigate anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and burnout in a sample of MHPs. [...] Read more.
The psychological impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers has been assessed worldwide, but there are limited data on how mental health professionals (MHPs) have been affected. Thus, this paper aims to investigate anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and burnout in a sample of MHPs. We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional study on 167 participants: 56 MHPs, 57 physicians working closely with COVID-19 patients, and 54 physicians not working closely with such patients. MHPs reported good overall mental health. Most MHPs reported no post-traumatic stress, and their scores were significantly lower compared to HPs working closely with COVID-19 patients. MHPs’ hyperarousal scores were also significantly lower compared to HPs working closely with COVID-19 patients, while their intrusion scores were statistically significantly lower than those of all other professionals. Multivariable logistic regressions showed that MHPs had lower odds of exhibiting state anxiety and low personal accomplishment compared to HPs not working closely with COVID-19 patients. In sum, MHPs seem to show almost preserved mental health. Thus, given the high mental healthcare demand during a pandemic, it would be useful to rely on these professionals, especially for structuring interventions to improve and support the mental health of the general population and other healthcare workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
Article
More Frequent Internet Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic Associates with Enhanced Quality of Life and Lower Depression Scores in Middle-Aged and Older Adults
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040393 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3234
Abstract
Concerns have been raised regarding middle-aged and older adults’ mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of the current study was to characterise associations between internet use (frequency and purpose), depression symptoms and Quality of Life (QoL) during the pandemic, in individuals [...] Read more.
Concerns have been raised regarding middle-aged and older adults’ mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of the current study was to characterise associations between internet use (frequency and purpose), depression symptoms and Quality of Life (QoL) during the pandemic, in individuals aged 55–75. Data (N = 3491) were drawn from the English longitudinal study of ageing (ELSA) cohort study collected in June/July 2020 (while social distancing measures were in place). Associations with frequency of use were tested using analysis of covariance (ANCOVAS), controlling for covariates such as wealth and education. Type of internet use (for communication, information search) was also analysed amongst frequent users. Significant effects of frequency of use were observed (p = 0.01 for depression, p < 0.001 for QoL), with lower depression symptoms and higher QoL scores amongst more frequent users. Regarding purpose of use, those who reported using the internet for communication purposes had higher QoL. However, use for health-related or Government services information searching was associated with more depression symptoms. Results provide important information regarding the potential benefits of internet use for middle-aged and older people, suggesting that strategies to increase internet usage (particularly for communication) might benefit middle-aged and older adults’ mental health and counter isolation as the coronavirus crisis continues to evolve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Panic and Trust during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study on Immigrants in South Korea
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020199 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1212
Abstract
In the COVID-19 pandemic, marginalized groups like migrants are disproportionately affected. As panic, fear of neglect, and mistrusting institutions in these groups are presumed to be apparent, their detachment to health services still needs to be investigated. This study comparatively analyzed the level [...] Read more.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, marginalized groups like migrants are disproportionately affected. As panic, fear of neglect, and mistrusting institutions in these groups are presumed to be apparent, their detachment to health services still needs to be investigated. This study comparatively analyzed the level of panic and trust between South Koreans and immigrants who are living within highly affected areas of South Korea. Mann–Whitney-U-Test and Pearson correlation showed panic is more pronounced in the Korean group while having a similar panic display pattern with the immigrants. The immigrant group appears to highly trust the Korean health system, health institutions, local media, and the local native community. Beyond conventional expectations, participant’s average panic score showed a statistically significant positive correlation with items of the trust scale, indicating a level of individual reliance amid the pandemic panic. Thus, ascertaining institutional trust and matured citizenry are identified as factors for effective public health outcomes. During such a pandemic, this study also reminded the public health needs of immigrants as secondary citizens, and presumptions of immigrants’ mistrust in such settings might not always be true. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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Article
Severe Mental Health Symptoms during COVID-19: A Comparison of the United Kingdom and Austria
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020191 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1896
Abstract
This study evaluated severe psychological symptoms in the United Kingdom and Austria after four weeks of lockdown due to COVID-19. Two cross-sectional online surveys were performed with representative population samples according to age, gender, region, and education. Depressive symptoms were measured with the [...] Read more.
This study evaluated severe psychological symptoms in the United Kingdom and Austria after four weeks of lockdown due to COVID-19. Two cross-sectional online surveys were performed with representative population samples according to age, gender, region, and education. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), anxiety symptoms with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7), and insomnia symptoms with the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The sample size was N = 1005 for Austria (52% women) and N = 1006 (54% women) for the UK. In total, 3.2% of the Austrian sample and 12.1% of the UK sample had severe depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 20 points; χ2(1) = 57.24; p < 0.001), 6.0% in Austria vs. 18.9% in the UK had severe anxiety symptoms (GAD-7 ≥ 15 points; χ2(1) = 76.17; p < 0.001), and 2.2% in Austria and 7.3% in the UK had severe insomnia (ISI; ≥22 points; χ2(1) = 28.89; p < 0.001). The prevalence of severe depressive, anxiety or insomnia symptoms was around three times higher in the UK than in Austria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Times of Pandemic: Protective and Risk Factors)
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