Special Issue "Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andrea Fiorillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy
Interests: clinical psychiatry; epidemiology; social psychiatry; early intervention in mental health; promotion of mental health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Pompili
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Suicide Prevention Centre, Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Interests: suicide and suicide prevention; public health; well-being; youth mental health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gaia Sampogna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy
Interests: stigma; prevention of mental disorders; school-age approaches to mental health problems; pathways to care

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

The COVID-19 pandemic will most likely influence the mental health and well-being of the general population, leading to an impact on the organization and delivery of mental health services worldwide.

With regard to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, an increased prevalence of numerous mental disorders is expected, including anxiety, depressive, obsessive–compulsive, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover, the incidence of other mental health problems, including substance and/or alcohol abuse, internet addiction, and psychosis, will probably increase. We also foresee, in the general population, an increased incidence of psychological difficulties related to quarantine, such as loneliness, economic difficulties, changes in daily habits, maladaptive coping strategies, and social disconnection. Finally, we also expect an increase in mental health problems in healthcare professionals, and these problems will include depression, anxiety, and burnout. All of this will mostly likely lead to into an increase in suicide and interpersonal violence. Mental health services are being called upon to promptly respond to what may indeed be another pandemic—that of mental health problems. In order to do so, the usual psychiatric practices will probably have to change, with more time dedicated to teleconsultation, phone calls with patients, and other at-distance interventions, while usual face-to-face contact will be restricted to urgent cases. For this Special Issue, we welcome original studies carried out on the worldwide impact of COVID-19 on mental health, the responses from mental health professionals, and the consequences at the psychological and social level. Moreover, studies exploring the effect of COVID-19 on human and animal brain models are also highly welcome. Finally, public health studies will be prioritized, in order to facilitate the implementation of real changes for ordinary clinical practice.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Fiorillo
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Pompili
Dr. Gaia Sampogna
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • pandemic
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • stress
  • trauma

Published Papers (97 papers)

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Article
Psychological Distress of International Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic in China: Multidimensional Effects of External Environment, Individuals’ Behavior, and Their Values
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189758 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The COVID-19 epidemic has had a significant impact on society. In particular, it has had a strong impact on college students, including international students. Through an online questionnaire survey, it is found that the psychological distress experienced by international students is the result [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 epidemic has had a significant impact on society. In particular, it has had a strong impact on college students, including international students. Through an online questionnaire survey, it is found that the psychological distress experienced by international students is the result of a combination of the external environment (including the lockdown measures, social distancing, and social support) and internal factors such as values and behavior. The analysis shows that the new teaching mode and the corresponding changes in learning behavior are significantly associated with the psychological distress brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition, the influence of international students’ values also plays a significant role in their psychological distress. Collective values are conducive to the alleviation of psychological distress, while individual values have the opposite effect. At the same time, the study also reveals that if there is sufficient social support, isolation (due to lockdown or social distancing early or later on) is not necessarily directly related to psychological distress. However, only formal social support can effectively alleviate psychological distress, while informal social support does not play a similar role. These conclusions have certain policy significance for the prevention of and response to epidemics in other countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Relationships between Psychopathology, Psychological Process Variables, and Sociodemographic Variables and Comparison of Quarantined and Non-Quarantined Groups of Malaysian University Students in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189656 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had considerable psychological health impacts across the globe. This study aimed to establish the psychological process variables underlying psychopathology in Malaysian public university students during the national Movement Control Order (MCO). The aim was to craft structured and sustainable [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had considerable psychological health impacts across the globe. This study aimed to establish the psychological process variables underlying psychopathology in Malaysian public university students during the national Movement Control Order (MCO). The aim was to craft structured and sustainable psychological support programs with these students. We conducted a cross-sectional study involving Malaysian university students subjected to the Malaysian MCO. Structured questionnaires measuring sociodemographic factors, measures of depression, anxiety, stress, psychological mindedness, psychological flexibility and state mindfulness were employed. A total of 515 students participated in this study with 12 students (2.3%) being quarantined at the time. Many of them scored ‘moderate’ or above on the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) with 20.2%, 25.0% and 14.2%, respectively. Quarantined students had higher depressive symptoms, with female students scoring significantly higher for depression, anxiety, and stress. Multiple regressions suggested gender and quarantine status predicted depression scores. However, only gender significantly predicted anxiety and stress. Psychological flexibility and psychological mindedness (Insight subscale) are significantly correlated with depression, anxiety, and stress, with psychological mindedness predicting all three psychopathologies. This study demonstrates that gender, psychological flexibility, and psychological mindedness are key demographic and psychological factors impacting students. Targeting psychological flexibility and psychological mindedness may enable timely prevention and intervention programs for our students to support their mental and physical health as we move through, and out of, the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Age and Emotional Distress during COVID-19: Findings from Two Waves of the Norwegian Citizen Panel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189568 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Older adults face the highest risk of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. We investigated a one-year change in emotions and factors associated with emotional distress immediately after the onset of the pandemic, with emphasis on older age. Methods: The online Norwegian Citizen Panel includes [...] Read more.
Older adults face the highest risk of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. We investigated a one-year change in emotions and factors associated with emotional distress immediately after the onset of the pandemic, with emphasis on older age. Methods: The online Norwegian Citizen Panel includes participants drawn randomly from the Norwegian Population Registry. Emotional distress was defined as the sum score of negative (anxious, worried, sad or low, irritated, and lonely) minus positive emotions (engaged, calm and relaxed, happy). Results: Respondents to both surveys (n = 967) reported a one-year increase in emotional distress, mainly driven by elevated anxiety and worrying, but we found no difference in change by age. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression comparing older age, economy-, and health-related factors showed that persons in their 60s (ß −1.87 (95%CI: −3.71, −0.04)) and 70s/80s (ß: −2.58 (−5.00, −0–17)) had decreased risk of emotional distress relative to persons under 60 years. Female gender (2.81 (1.34, 4.28)), expecting much lower income (5.09 (2.00, 8.17)), uncertainty whether infected with SARS-Cov2 (2.92 (1.21, 4.63)), and high self-rated risk of infection (1.77 (1.01, 2.53)) were associated with high levels of emotional distress. Conclusions: Knowledge of national determinants of distress is crucial to tailor accurate public health interventions in future outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students’ Mental Health and Sleep in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179344 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Background: Mental health problems are prevalent among university students in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ mental health and sleep in Saudi Arabia. Method: A total of 582 undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia [...] Read more.
Background: Mental health problems are prevalent among university students in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ mental health and sleep in Saudi Arabia. Method: A total of 582 undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia aged between 18 and 45 years old (M = 20.91, SD = 3.17) completed a cross-sectional online questionnaire measuring depression, anxiety, stress, resilience, and insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020). Analysis included an independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Hierarchical regression analysis. Results: Undergraduate students reported high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress and low levels of resilience (p < 0.001) during the pandemic. In addition, students reported experiencing insomnia. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that lower resilience, high levels of insomnia, having a pre-existing mental health condition, and learning difficulties (such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or dyscalculia) were significantly associated with high levels of depression and stress. In addition, lower resilience, a high level of insomnia, and pre-existing mental health conditions were significantly associated with high levels of anxiety. Finally, a lower level of psychological resilience and a high level of insomnia were significantly associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress within university students. Conclusion: This study has provided evidence that a lower level of psychological resilience and insomnia were associated with mental health problems among undergraduate students in Saudi Arabia, thus enhancing psychological resilience and interventions to support sleep and mental health are vital to support student well-being outcomes throughout the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Living Space and Job Prospects and Their Relationship with Subjective Well-Being during COVID-19 Confinement in Spain: The Mediator Role of Resilience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179198 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine the relationships of participants’ home characteristics (living space) and job prospects after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to their subjective psychological well-being (SWB) (in terms of both affective and cognitive aspects). We also examined [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to examine the relationships of participants’ home characteristics (living space) and job prospects after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to their subjective psychological well-being (SWB) (in terms of both affective and cognitive aspects). We also examined the role of participants’ resilience as a possible mediator in the relationships among the aforementioned variables. The sample comprised 474 Spanish adults who completed an online questionnaire between 14 and 24 April 2020, when COVID-19 confinement was very strict in Spain. We proposed a path analysis model including the described variables. The model presented a good fit (χ2 = 7.41, df = 5, p = 0.376, comparative fit index = 0.996, Tucker–Lewis index = 0.987; root mean square error of approximation = 0.032). The results indicated that living space and future job prospects predicted resilience, which, in turn, was related to SWB. Moreover, the bootstrapping results revealed a mediating effect of resilience that showed indirect relationships between living space and SWB and between job prospects and SWB. Our results underline the importance of environmental (living space) and job-related variables to predict SWB as well as the mediating role that resilience may play during the confinement period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Self-Compassion and Rumination Type Mediate the Relation between Mindfulness and Parental Burnout
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168811 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 558
Abstract
The COVID-19 lockdown increased the day-to-day challenges faced by parents, and thereby may have increased parental burnout risk. Therefore, identifying parental burnout protection factors is essential. This study aimed to assess the protective role of the following factors which can be increased through [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 lockdown increased the day-to-day challenges faced by parents, and thereby may have increased parental burnout risk. Therefore, identifying parental burnout protection factors is essential. This study aimed to assess the protective role of the following factors which can be increased through mindfulness practice: trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and concrete vs. abstract ruminations. A total of 459 parents (Mage = 40; 98.7% female) completed self-reported questionnaires at two-time points to assess the predictive role of mindfulness on parental burnout, self-compassion and rumination type, and the mediating role of self-compassion and rumination type in the relation between mindfulness and parental burnout. Results showed that trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and rumination type at Time 1 predicted levels of parental burnout at Time 2. Self-compassion (indirect effects: b = − 22, 95% CI = [−38, −05], p < 0.01), concrete ruminations (indirect effects: b = −20, 95% CI = [−32, −09], p < 0.001), and abstract ruminations (indirect effects: b = −0.54, 95% CI = [−71, −37], p < 0.001) partially mediated the relation between trait-mindfulness and parental burnout. These findings showed that trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and concrete (vs. abstract) ruminations may help prevent parental burnout in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results contribute to the field of research on parental burnout prevention and will allow for the development of effective approaches to mental health promotion in parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Social Support and Dietary Habits as Anxiety Level Predictors of Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168785 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 639
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency concern and a challenge to students’ mental health due to changes in education and social isolation. The aim of this research was to expand knowledge about the relations that shape the level of anxiety amongst [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency concern and a challenge to students’ mental health due to changes in education and social isolation. The aim of this research was to expand knowledge about the relations that shape the level of anxiety amongst men and women who are studying during the pandemic in terms of the relations towards their sense of social support and their nutritional behaviors. A State–Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to measure anxiety level, alongside supplementary questions such as the feeling of support from close ones, concentration of attention on nutrition during the pandemic and externally derived factors (university, specialization). Analysis of the regression was applied to the examination of the dependency between the anxiety level (in both forms of its occurrence—as state-anxiety and as trait-anxiety). We observed that the pandemic situation affected a level of state-anxiety above average (mean value of 46–48 points) even when students felt social support. Nutrition habits and chosen education type are associated with trait-anxiety level, which was also elevated (mean values of 49–50 points). Chosen factors had a partial influence on the anxiety level of students, therefore their mental health should concern shaping positive nutrition habits and social support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Changes in Depressive Symptoms, Stress and Social Support in Mexican Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168775 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 608
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine changes in depression, stress and social support levels before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in women living in Mexico City. We studied 466 women enrolled in the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine changes in depression, stress and social support levels before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in women living in Mexico City. We studied 466 women enrolled in the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) study who completed the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) questionnaire prior (2018–2019) and during the lockdown period of the pandemic (May–November 2020). Psychosocial stress and social support for both time periods were ascertained using the Crisis in Family Systems (CRISYS) questionnaire and the Social Support Network (SSN) Scale, respectively. Associations between stress, social support and change in EDS score/depression were analyzed using generalized linear models adjusting for covariates. Higher stress (>median) during the pandemic was associated with an increase in EDS score (β: 2.13; 95% CI (1.06, 3.19), p < 0.001), and higher odds of depression (OR: 3.75; 95% CI (2.17, 6.50), p < 0.001), while social support was associated with lower odds of depression (OR: 0.56, 95% CI (0.32, 0.97), p = 0.037). Higher levels of stress during the pandemic were associated with depression. Social support may act as a buffer for the effects of psychosocial stress. Future studies should examine the long-term effects of stress associated with the pandemic on mental and overall health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Predictors of Mental Health Outcomes in Grocery Store Workers amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications for Workplace Safety and Moral Injury
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168675 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Limited research exists on the mental health (MH) of grocery store workers (GSWs), who have been on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A disaster MH conceptual model incorporating demographics, disaster exposure and threat (COVID-19 fear and workplace threat perception), perceived stress, and [...] Read more.
Limited research exists on the mental health (MH) of grocery store workers (GSWs), who have been on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A disaster MH conceptual model incorporating demographics, disaster exposure and threat (COVID-19 fear and workplace threat perception), perceived stress, and social support (lack of from family and friends) was utilized to predict MH outcomes (anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress symptoms; PTSS) of GSWs. GSWs (n = 842) were recruited through a regional union in California. The participants were diverse (62.1% female) and were 18–69 years of age (M = 41.5, SD = 13.9). They completed an online survey regarding COVID-19 fear, workplace threat perception, perceived stress, lack of social support, and workplace needs/recommendations for support. Three hierarchical linear regression models were run assessing each MH outcome. Thematic analysis coding and an inductive approach were utilized for analyzing open-ended responses of workplace needs/recommendations. Females and younger GSWs (ages 18–29 years old) on average, reported higher MH symptoms than males and older age groups, respectively. COVID-19 fear and perceived stress were significant predictors of anxiety, while COVID-19 fear, workplace threat perception, and perceived stress significantly predicted depression and PTSS, explaining almost half of the variance for each model. Social support and demographics were not predictive of MH outcomes. Almost half of GSWs (40%) requested increased safety protections in the workplace. Feelings of fear of COVID-19, threat in the workplace, and overall perceived stress are predictive of GSWs’ MH outcomes. Increasing feelings of safety in the workplace and reducing stress may lessen MH symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
COVID-19-Related Financial Hardship, Job Loss, and Mental Health Symptoms: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Agrarian Community in India
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168647 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Several countries, including India, imposed mandatory social distancing, quarantine, and lockdowns to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although these measures were effective in curbing the spread of the virus, prolonged social distancing, quarantine, and the resultant economic disruption led to an [...] Read more.
Several countries, including India, imposed mandatory social distancing, quarantine, and lockdowns to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although these measures were effective in curbing the spread of the virus, prolonged social distancing, quarantine, and the resultant economic disruption led to an increase in financial stress and mental health concerns. Prior studies established a link between the first lockdown and an increase in mental health issues. However, few studies investigated the association between post-lockdown financial hardship, job loss, and mental health. In this study, we examined the association between COVID-19-related financial hardship, job loss, and mental health symptoms approximately nine months after the end of the first nationwide lockdown in India. Job loss was associated with higher reporting of mental health symptoms among men (aIRR = 1.16) while financial hardship was associated with poor mental health symptoms among women (aIRR = 1.29). Conversely, social support and government aid were associated with better mental health symptoms among women. Our findings highlight the need for financial assistance and job creation programs to aid families in the recovery process. There is also an urgent need for improving the availability and affordability of mental health services in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Women Suffered More Emotional and Life Distress than Men during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Pathogen Disgust Sensitivity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168539 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 has brought upon unprecedented challenges to nearly all people around the globe. Yet, people may differ in their risks of social, economic, and health well-being. In this research, we take a gender-difference approach to examine whether and why [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 has brought upon unprecedented challenges to nearly all people around the globe. Yet, people may differ in their risks of social, economic, and health well-being. In this research, we take a gender-difference approach to examine whether and why women suffered greater emotional and life distress than men at the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Using a large nationwide Chinese sample, we found that compared to men, women reported higher levels of anxiety and fear, as well as greater life disturbance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, that women suffered more was partly explained by their higher level of pathogen disgust sensitivity. Our findings highlight the important consequences of gender differences in response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest that policymakers pay more attention to gender inequalities regarding COVID-19 responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Traumatic Distress of COVID-19 and Depression in the General Population: Exploring the Role of Resilience, Anxiety, and Hope
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168485 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
International evidence published so far shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on global mental health. Specifically, there is some research suggesting that the psychological distress related to depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress has impacted on the psychological well-being of the general [...] Read more.
International evidence published so far shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on global mental health. Specifically, there is some research suggesting that the psychological distress related to depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress has impacted on the psychological well-being of the general population. Yet, there is limited evidence on the relational paths between COVID-19 traumatic distress and depression. Participants of this cross-sectional study were 456 adults 18 years old or older from the general population (Mean age = 41.2 years, SD = 11.7) who completed an online questionnaire including measures assessing depression, anxiety, resilience, hope and traumatic distress related to COVID-19. Structural equation modelling was applied to examine the proposed mediation model. The results confirmed the proposed model, with traumatic distress of COVID-19, resilience, anxiety and hope explaining a considerable amount of variance (59%) in depression scores. Traumatic distress of COVID-19 was a strong positive predictor of depression, while anxiety, hope and resilience were both joint and unique mediators of this relationship. Exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic is strongly associated with depression in adults of the general population. The co-occurrence of anxiety may negatively contribute to experiencing higher levels of depression, while resilience and hope may act as buffers against depression associated with the impact of this pandemic. Our findings suggest that wide community-based interventions designed to promote resilience, build hope and reduce anxiety may help mitigate depression associated with exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Nurses and Auxiliary Nursing Care Technicians—A Voluntary Online Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168310 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 583
Abstract
Pandemics impose an immense psychological burden on healthcare workers due to a combination of workplace stressors and personal fears. Nurses and auxiliary nursing care technicians (ANCTs) are on the front line of this pandemic and form the largest group in healthcare practice. The [...] Read more.
Pandemics impose an immense psychological burden on healthcare workers due to a combination of workplace stressors and personal fears. Nurses and auxiliary nursing care technicians (ANCTs) are on the front line of this pandemic and form the largest group in healthcare practice. The aim of this study is to determine the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety among nurses and ANCTs during the periods known as the first wave (March–June) and second wave (September–November) of theCOVID-19 pandemic in Spain. An observational cross-sectional study was carried out using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire among nurses and ANCTs practising in Spain. During the first period, 68.3% and 49.6% of the subjects presented anxiety and depression, respectively, decreasing in the second period (49.5% for anxiety and 35.1% for depression). There were statistically significant differences between the different categories and periods (p < 0.001). The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively influenced mental health in nurses and ANCTs. Mental health should be monitored and coping strategies promoted to improve the health, productivity and efficiency of these professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Validation and Cultural Adaptation of Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) in Assessing Stigma among Recovered Patients with COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168261 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Stigma is a negative feeling affecting many patients with various health conditions, especially the contagious ones such as COVID-19. The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) is one of the valid and reliable stigma-measuring tools; however, it has not been translated and validated in [...] Read more.
Stigma is a negative feeling affecting many patients with various health conditions, especially the contagious ones such as COVID-19. The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) is one of the valid and reliable stigma-measuring tools; however, it has not been translated and validated in Arabic. Therefore, the aim of this study was to translate and validate the EMIC in Arabic among a sample of Arabic-speaking adults who recently recovered from COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia. The 12 items of the EMIC scale were forward- and backward-translated and reviewed by all authors to check the face and content validity prior to approving the final version of the Arabic 12-item EMIC. A total of 174 participants aged ≥18 years who contracted COVID-19 and recovered as of 29 July 2020 were interviewed. The Cronbach’s alpha of the Arabic version of the 12-item EMIC was 0.79, indicating an acceptable level of internal consistency. Using principal component analysis with varimax rotation, two factors explained more than 60% of the variance of the translated EMIC scale. The mean EMIC score was 5.91, implying a low level of stigma among participants. Married participants (β = 2.93; 95%CI 0.88 to 4.98, p = 0.005) and those with a family history of mental illness (β = 2.38; 95%CI 0.29 to 4.46, p = 0.025) were more likely to have higher EMIC scores in comparison to their counterparts who were unmarried and had no family history of mental illness. On the contrary, older adults were less likely to have high EMIC scores (β = −0.11; 95%CI −0.21 to −0.01, p = 0.03). Future studies with larger samples of patients with COVID-19 and various health conditions should be conducted to examine the validity and reliability of the Arabic version of the EMIC among different patient populations and to unveil the factors that may play a role in patients’ feelings of stigmatization in this part of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Sleep Quality and Mood State in Resident Physicians during COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158023 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Since the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, healthcare workers—resident physicians in particular—have been hugely involved in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing unprecedented challenges in fighting the disease. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and alterations in [...] Read more.
Since the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, healthcare workers—resident physicians in particular—have been hugely involved in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing unprecedented challenges in fighting the disease. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and alterations in mood state profiles in this category. This cross-sectional study, conducted in 2020, enrolled 119 subjects from a university hospital in southern Italy. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires were administered to physicians divided into four areas: anesthesiology, medicine, service, and surgery. In the overall sample, approximately 45% reported poor sleep quality, although only nine subjects (8%) reported an ESS score that suggested excessive daytime sleepiness. Alterations in mood profiles were also observed; the Vigor and Fatigue factors were the most altered. In particular, anesthesiologists seem to be the most affected category, showing a profound decrease in Vigor with a concomitant increase in Fatigue. Considering the possible consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures should be adopted, especially those aimed at facilitating a better turnover of physicians, optimizing the working schedule, and improving the organization of work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
A Study of the Association between the Stringency of Covid-19 Government Measures and Depression in Older Adults across Europe and Israel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158017 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is having major adverse consequences for the mental health of individuals worldwide. Alongside the direct impact of the virus on individuals, government responses to tackling its spread, such as quarantine, lockdown, and physical distancing measures, have been found [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is having major adverse consequences for the mental health of individuals worldwide. Alongside the direct impact of the virus on individuals, government responses to tackling its spread, such as quarantine, lockdown, and physical distancing measures, have been found to have a profound impact on mental health. This is manifested in an increased prevalence of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. As older adults are more vulnerable and severely affected by the pandemic, they may be at increased psychological risk when seeking to protect themselves from COVID-19. Methods: Our study aims to quantify the association between the stringency of measures and increased feelings of sadness/depression in a sample of 31,819 Europeans and Israelis aged 65 and above. We hypothesize that more stringent measures make it more likely that individuals will report increased feelings of sadness or depression. Conclusions: We found that more stringent measures across countries in Europe and Israel affect the mental health of older individuals. The prevalence of increased feelings of sadness/depression was higher in Southern European countries, where the measures were more stringent. We therefore recommend paying particular attention to the possible effects of pandemic control measures on the mental health of older people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Fear of COVID-19 and COVID-19 Stress and Association with Sociodemographic and Psychological Process Factors in Cases under Surveillance in a Frontline Worker Population in Borneo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137210 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 855
Abstract
COVID-19 stress and fear of COVID-19 is an increasingly researched construct in the general population. However, its prevalence and association with sociodemographic factors and psychological process variables has not been explored in frontline workers under surveillance in a Bornean population. This study was [...] Read more.
COVID-19 stress and fear of COVID-19 is an increasingly researched construct in the general population. However, its prevalence and association with sociodemographic factors and psychological process variables has not been explored in frontline workers under surveillance in a Bornean population. This study was a cross-sectional study using a sociodemographic questionnaire incorporating two specific epidemiological risk variables, namely specific questions about COVID-19 surveillance status (persons under investigation (PUI), persons under surveillance (PUS), and positive cases) and the nature of frontline worker status. Furthermore, five other instruments were used, with three measuring psychopathology (namely depression, anxiety and stress, fear of COVID-19, and stress due to COVID-19) and two psychological process variables (namely psychological flexibility and mindfulness). Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests were performed to assess if there were significant differences in psychopathology and psychological process variables between sociodemographic and epidemiological risk variables. Hierarchical multiple regression was further performed, with depression, anxiety, and stress as dependent variables. There were significant differences in the fear of COVID-19 between positive cases, PUI, and PUS. The fear of COVID-19 scores were higher in positive cases compared to in PUS and PUI groups. Upon hierarchical multiple regression, mindfulness and psychological flexibility were significant predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress after controlling for sociodemographic and epidemiological risk factors. This study demonstrates that exposure to COVID-19 as persons under investigation or surveillance significantly increases the fear of COVID-19, and brief psychological interventions that can positively influence mindfulness and psychological flexibility should be prioritized for these at-risk groups to prevent undue psychological morbidity in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Mediator Effect of Affinity for E-Learning on Mental Health: Buffering Strategy for the Resilience of University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137098 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
The pandemic affected the quality of life and wellness of the population, changing living habits through restriction measures. This study aimed to analyze the psychological impact of the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adoption of e-learning for university students. The study [...] Read more.
The pandemic affected the quality of life and wellness of the population, changing living habits through restriction measures. This study aimed to analyze the psychological impact of the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adoption of e-learning for university students. The study was articulated in two research applications: the first application was a rapid review on the psychological effects of the pandemic on the emotional dimension of undergraduate students; the second application was an observational study on the effect of e-learning adoption in the pandemic emergency. In the first step, we performed a systematic search of MEDLINE through PubMed and the Web of Science [Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED); Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI); Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)] of all scientific literature published from May 2020 to February 2021. The reviewed articles suggest the impact of the pandemic and lockdown measures on university students due to several mental symptoms, including anxiety, stress, depression, event-specific distress, and a decrease in psychological well-being. Psychological symptoms were related to the experience of several stressors, such as the risk for a reduction of academic perspectives, massive e-learning adoption, economic issues, social restrictions, and implications for daily life related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The second scientific application was conducted to evaluate the affinity for e-learning on a sample composed of Italian undergraduates exposed to massive e-learning adoption. The results evidence the positive influence of e-learning in academic programs for the wellbeing of undergraduates. The mediator effect of the affinity of youth for e-learning can be considered to have had a buffering effect for professional advancement and for the mental health of university students in a public health emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Psychological and Quality of Life Impacts on Women in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136734 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 722
Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. The adverse impacts on Asian women, including those in Hong Kong, are substantial. This cross-sectional online study examined the impacts of COVID-19 on Hong Kong women, including psychological effects, self-belief in coping, and [...] Read more.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. The adverse impacts on Asian women, including those in Hong Kong, are substantial. This cross-sectional online study examined the impacts of COVID-19 on Hong Kong women, including psychological effects, self-belief in coping, and quality of life, and was conducted over 4 weeks from July to August 2020. Females aged over 18, living in Hong Kong, and that could read Chinese, were included. Among 417 participants, 50.8% were aged below 50, 66.7% were married, 57.1% were caregivers, 61.4% had a family income of <USD 2600, and 70.3% attained higher secondary education or above. The results show that 32.2%, 42.4%, and 44.9% of participants had negative emotions of stress, anxiety, and depression. There are significant negative correlations between emotional state and different aspects of quality of life, but positive correlations between general self-efficacy and different aspects of quality of life. COVID-19 induced significant psychological and quality of life impacts on females in Hong Kong. The policymakers, healthcare professionals, and social support organizations should establish appropriate strategies and policies to support women during the COVID-19 pandemic or similar future crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Identifying Predictors of University Students’ Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Data-Driven Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136730 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed risks to public mental health worldwide. University students, who are already recognised as a vulnerable population, are at elevated risk of mental health issues given COVID-19-related disruptions to higher education. To assist universities in effectively allocating resources [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed risks to public mental health worldwide. University students, who are already recognised as a vulnerable population, are at elevated risk of mental health issues given COVID-19-related disruptions to higher education. To assist universities in effectively allocating resources to the launch of targeted, population-level interventions, the current study aimed to uncover predictors of university students’ psychological wellbeing during the pandemic via a data-driven approach. Methods: Data were collected from 3973 Australian university students ((median age = 22, aged from 18 to 79); 70.6% female)) at five time points during 2020. Feature selection was conducted via least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) to identify predictors from a comprehensive set of variables. Selected variables were then entered into an ordinary least squares (OLS) model to compare coefficients and assess statistical significance. Results: Six negative predictors of university students’ psychological wellbeing emerged: White/European ethnicity, restriction stress, perceived worry on mental health, dietary changes, perceived sufficiency of distancing communication, and social isolation. Physical health status, emotional support, and resilience were positively associated with students’ psychological wellbeing. Social isolation has the largest effect on students’ psychological wellbeing. Notably, age, gender, international status, and educational level did not emerge as predictors of wellbeing. Conclusion: To cost-effectively support student wellbeing through 2021 and beyond, universities should consider investing in internet- and tele- based interventions explicitly targeting perceived social isolation among students. Course-based online forums as well as internet- and tele-based logotherapy may be promising candidates for improving students’ psychological wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Suicidal Ideation and Predictors of Psychological Distress during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Eswatini: A Population-Based Household Telephone Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136700 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 970
Abstract
The unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic can induce psychological distress in individuals. We investigated perceived stressors, prevalence of psychological distress and suicidal ideation, and predictors of psychological distress among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini. This study was a cross-sectional, population-based household [...] Read more.
The unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic can induce psychological distress in individuals. We investigated perceived stressors, prevalence of psychological distress and suicidal ideation, and predictors of psychological distress among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini. This study was a cross-sectional, population-based household telephone survey of 993 conveniently sampled adults (18+ years) from all the four administrative regions of Eswatini. Data were collected between 9 June and 18 July 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the country was under a partial lockdown. COVID-19-related psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler 6-item Psychological Distress Scale (K6). We performed weighted modified Poisson regression analyses to identify significant predictors of moderate/severe psychological distress (K6 scores: ≥5). The weighted prevalences of moderate (K6 scores: 5–12) and severe psychological distress (K6 scores: ≥13) were 41.7% and 5.4%, respectively. Participants reported several perceived COVID-19-related stressors, including worries and fears of the contagion-specific death, serious need for food and money, and concerns about loss of income or business. The weighted prevalence of suicidal ideation was 1.5%. Statistically significant predictors of increased risk for moderate/severe psychological distress included living in the Hhohho and Manzini regions; feeling not well informed about COVID-19; feeling lonely; having received COVID-19 food or financial relief from the government; feeling burdened by the lockdown; being married; and being youth (18–24 years). The results call for the government to urgently augment the provision of mental health services during the pandemic. Mental health practitioners and programs may use several stressors and risk factors identified in this study to inform interventions and government policies aimed at reducing psychological distress induced by the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Hopelessness and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms among Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Any Role for Mediating Variables?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126579 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
The Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has many psychological consequences for the population, ranging from anxious-depressive symptoms and insomnia to complex post-traumatic syndromes. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of healthcare workers, focusing on the association [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has many psychological consequences for the population, ranging from anxious-depressive symptoms and insomnia to complex post-traumatic syndromes. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of healthcare workers, focusing on the association between hopelessness, death anxiety, and post-traumatic symptomatology. Eight hundred forty-two healthcare workers were recruited between 21 March 2020 and 15 May 2020. A specific questionnaire was administered to assess socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, together with psychometric scales: Beck Hopelessness Scale, Death Anxiety Scale (DAS), and Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS). Respondents with hopelessness scored higher in the DAS and DTS than respondents without hopelessness. Furthermore, death anxiety was identified as a potential mediator of the significant association between hopelessness and post-traumatic symptomatology. The impact of death anxiety should be recognized in vulnerable populations, such as frontline healthcare workers. Therefore, pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies could be useful to attenuate the negative psychological consequences and reduce the burden worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Trends in the Use of Anxiolytics in Castile and Leon, Spain, between 2015–2020: Evaluating the Impact of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115944 - 01 Jun 2021
Viewed by 938
Abstract
Anxiolytics (N05B) are one of the most widely used pharmacological groups. This study aimed to analyze the progression of the consumption of anxiolytics (ATC classification: N05B) dispensed in pharmacies in Castile and Leon, Spain, from 2015 to 2020, with a special focus on [...] Read more.
Anxiolytics (N05B) are one of the most widely used pharmacological groups. This study aimed to analyze the progression of the consumption of anxiolytics (ATC classification: N05B) dispensed in pharmacies in Castile and Leon, Spain, from 2015 to 2020, with a special focus on the possible impact of COVID-19 on the use of these drugs. A quantitative-qualitative analysis of usage was carried out using the total number of packs and the packs per 1000 inhabitants. Overall, the use of anxiolytics grew by 14.41% during 2015–2020. The most commonly used drugs were the short-acting benzodiazepine derivatives lorazepam (whose use increased by 15.18%) and alprazolam (whose use increased by 21.40%), and the dispensing of the long-acting derivative diazepam increased the most, by 31.83%. Anxiolytics consumption increased significantly in 2020 and peaked in March. The pattern of use remained the same in 2020. The consumption of anxiolytics has continued to increase in Castile and Leon over the last six years. The COVID-19 pandemic situation affected the dispensing of these drugs, causing a sharp increase in prescriptions, especially during March, when the confinement of the population was initiated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Knowledge, Emotions and Stressors in Front-Line Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5622; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115622 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge, emotions and perceived stressors by healthcare workers who were in contact with infected patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. An online cross-sectional survey was applied. Data were collected from N = 263 healthcare workers [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge, emotions and perceived stressors by healthcare workers who were in contact with infected patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. An online cross-sectional survey was applied. Data were collected from N = 263 healthcare workers in Tabasco State, Mexico. We developed and administered a questionnaire, which consisted of sociodemographic characteristics, plus four sections. The sections evaluated were (1) knowledge of COVID-19; (2) feelings/emotions during the COVID-19 outbreak; (3) factors that caused stress and (4) factors that helped to reduce stress. Surveyed individuals were divided into three groups: physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers. When we evaluated their knowledge of COVID-19 we observed that the majority of healthcare workers in the three groups reported that they knew about COVID-19. Physicians indicated that they felt insecure about practicing their profession (62.5%) due to the high risk of being in contact with SARS-CoV-2. With regards to stressor factors, the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to their families was the main factor causing moderate to high stress (95.4%). Finally, we found that “your profession puts your life at risk” was the only factor associated with feeling nervous and scared (PR: 3.15; 95% CI: 1.54–6.43). We recommended health education campaigns, introductory courses on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, management protocols and the provision of protection equipment to health workers in order to reduce personal and professional fears of contagion and to improve the health system in Mexico when facing epidemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Stress Perceived by University Health Sciences Students, 1 Year after COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5233; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105233 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Today’s COVID-19 situation can affect university Health Sciences students’ psychological health. This study aimed to analyze the stress caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Health Sciences students from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) almost 1 year after the pandemic began. [...] Read more.
Today’s COVID-19 situation can affect university Health Sciences students’ psychological health. This study aimed to analyze the stress caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Health Sciences students from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) almost 1 year after the pandemic began. This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted with a sample of 252 university students who completed a self-administered online questionnaire. It evaluated the impact of perceived stress with a modified scale (PSS-10-C), and assessed anxiety and depression on the Goldberg scale. Students presented stress (13.1%), anxiety (71.4%) and depression (81%). Females (81.7%) and the third-year Occupational Therapy students (p = 0.010) reported perceived stress. Nursing students perceived less stress (OR: 0.148; 95% CI: 0.026 to 0.842). University students developed stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 almost 1 year after the pandemic began. Psychological support measures for these groups should be prioritized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Factors Related to Nurses’ Burnout during the First Wave of Coronavirus Disease-19 in a University Hospital in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105051 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
Safety of healthcare workers in hospitals is a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being exposed for several working hours per day to infected patients, nurses dealing with COVID-19 face several issues that lead to physical/psychological breakdown. This study focused on burnout and [...] Read more.
Safety of healthcare workers in hospitals is a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being exposed for several working hours per day to infected patients, nurses dealing with COVID-19 face several issues that lead to physical/psychological breakdown. This study focused on burnout and its associated factors in nurses working in an Italian University Hospital during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. We designed a web-based cross-sectional study addressed to nurses working at the University Hospital in Foggia, Italy. The online questionnaire was organized in sections aimed at collecting demographic and occupational variables, including the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OBI). Two hundred and ninety-three nurses agreed to participate. According to MBI, we reported moderate/high emotional exhaustion in 76.5%, depersonalization in 50.2%, and personal gratification in 54.6% of participants. COVID-19-related burnout measured by OBI resulted medium/high in 89.1% of participants. Among demographic and occupational factors, a multivariate regression analysis identified emotional support, consideration of leaving job, and workload as predictive of burnout in nurses. In conclusion, this study suggests that the improvement of employer and family support to nurses, as well as reduction of workload and job-related stress, would contribute to reducing burnout in nurses during COVID-19 pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Sudden Changes and Their Associations with Quality of Life during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study in the French-Speaking Part of Switzerland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094888 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to various sudden changes in a large number of individuals. In response, the question of how individuals from different social and economic strata cope with those changes has arisen, as well as how much [...] Read more.
The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to various sudden changes in a large number of individuals. In response, the question of how individuals from different social and economic strata cope with those changes has arisen, as well as how much they have affected their mental well-being. Choosing strategies that cope with both the pandemic and the well-being of the population has also been a challenge for different governments. While a large number of studies have investigated the mental health of people from different populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, few have explored the number and type of changes experienced during lockdown by the general population, alongside their relationships with health-related quality of life (HRQoL). To fill this research gap, an observational cross-sectional study on those associations was conducted in the French-speaking part of the Swiss general population. Data were collected from 431 participants during the first four weeks of lockdown due to COVID-19. Multivariate regressions were used to identify the sociodemographic profile of the population that experienced different types and numbers of changes during this period, the association of those changes with the HRQoL—mental and physical—and infection beliefs, and the perception of the governmental measures. We show that the more changes people experienced, the lower their mental HRQoL; however, adherence to governmental measures has helped people to cope with the imposed changes, even though the number of unexpected and unwished changes have strained their mental HRQoL. The low-income population experienced financial difficulties and changes in their food intake more frequently, while dual-citizenship or non-Swiss individuals declared conflictual situations more frequently. Sport practice had a positive association with mental HRQoL; nevertheless, a decrease in sport practice was frequently reported, which correlated with a lower mental HRQoL. Risk perception of COVID-19 increased with lower physical HRQoL score, which supports the efficiency of governmental communication regarding the pandemic. Our results support that government measures should be accompanied by effective and targeted communication about the risk of infection, in order to encourage all strata of the general population to follow such measures and adapt to the changes without unduly affecting their mental health. The usage of such tools might help to reduce the impact of policy-imposed changes on the mental HRQoL of the general population, by inducing voluntary changes in informed and engaged populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Exploring the Frequency of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms in a Brazilian Sample during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094847 - 01 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency of international concern, and the main measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 were social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation. Although these policies are effective in containing the spread of the virus, they [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency of international concern, and the main measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 were social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation. Although these policies are effective in containing the spread of the virus, they might represent a challenge to psychological well-being, increasing levels of depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. Aims: We explored the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms during COVID-19 restrictions and associations with sociodemographic factors in a Brazilian sample. Method: Data of a total of 936 Brazilian adults (68.2% women) aged 18 to 77 years old (M = 38.95, SD = 13.91) were collected through an online survey. Results: In general, we observed a frequency of 17.36% for severe anxiety and 66.13% for severe depression symptoms, in which younger participants (18–39 years old) and women showed higher scores in anxiety and depression scales compared to older age groups. Logistic regressions showed that women were more likely to present severe symptoms of anxiety (20.4%) compared to men (10.9%), as well as respondents in the educational sector (24.3%) compared to those in the health sector (10%). Conclusions: We highlight the importance of mental health professionals in developing strategies to help younger adults to mitigate the effects of social restriction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety, and Perceived Stress in Postpartum Mexican Women during the COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094627 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1185
Abstract
The COVID-19 lockdown represents a new challenge for mental health researchers and clinical practitioners. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in postpartum Mexican women. The study included 293, 4–12-week postpartum women over the age of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 lockdown represents a new challenge for mental health researchers and clinical practitioners. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in postpartum Mexican women. The study included 293, 4–12-week postpartum women over the age of 18. The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS), Trait-State Trait Anxiety Inventory (T-STAI), and Ten Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), which are all questionnaires validated for the Mexican population, were applied using a web-based online survey. Prevalence and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. The mean ± standard deviation (SD) of the maternal age was 29.9 ± 6.3 years; the EPDS score: 11 ± 6, T-STAI score: 41.7 ± 12.3, and PSS-10 score: 17.1 ± 7. The prevalence (95% CI) of the postpartum depression symptoms was 39.2% (34–45%), trait anxiety symptoms were found among 46.1% (32–43%) of the participants, and moderate and high perceived stress were in 58% (52–64) and 10.9% (7.8–15) of the participants, respectively. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, generalized anxiety, and perceived stress was higher among postpartum Mexican women during the COVID-19 outbreak than before the lockdown. Our findings highlight the importance of monitoring perinatal mental health during pandemics and the need to design effective psychologic interventions for these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
The Impact of Intolerance of Uncertainty on Negative Emotions in COVID-19: Mediation by Pandemic-Focused Time and Moderation by Perceived Efficacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4189; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084189 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in a large number of people suffering from emotional problems. However, the mechanisms by which intolerance of uncertainty (IU) affects negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear. This study aimed to explore the mediating role of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in a large number of people suffering from emotional problems. However, the mechanisms by which intolerance of uncertainty (IU) affects negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear. This study aimed to explore the mediating role of pandemic-focused time and the moderating role of perceived efficacy in the association between IU and negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the uncertainty-time-efficacy-emotion model (UTEE). 1131 participants were recruited to complete measures of COVID-19 IU, pandemic-focused time, perceived efficacy, negative emotions and demographic variables during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that COVID-19 IU was significantly and positively associated with negative emotions, and this link could be mediated by pandemic-focused time. Moreover, the direct effect of COVID-19 IU on negative emotions was moderated by perceived efficacy. Specifically, the direct effect of COVID-19 IU on negative emotions was much stronger for individuals with lower levels of perceived efficacy. The current study further extended the previous integrative uncertainty tolerance model. Furthermore, the study suggested that policy makers and mental health professionals should reduce the general public’s negative emotions during the pandemic through effective interventions such as adjusting COVID-19 IU, shortening pandemic-focused time and enhancing perceived efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084143 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1606
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the mediation of psychological flexibility, prosociality and coping in the impacts of illness perceptions toward COVID-19 on mental health among seven regions. Convenience sampled online survey was conducted between April and June 2020 from 9130 citizens in 21 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the mediation of psychological flexibility, prosociality and coping in the impacts of illness perceptions toward COVID-19 on mental health among seven regions. Convenience sampled online survey was conducted between April and June 2020 from 9130 citizens in 21 countries. Illness perceptions toward COVID-19, psychological flexibility, prosociality, coping and mental health, socio-demographics, lockdown-related variables and COVID-19 status were assessed. Results showed that psychological flexibility was the only significant mediator in the relationship between illness perceptions toward COVID-19 and mental health across all regions (all ps = 0.001–0.021). Seeking social support was the significant mediator across subgroups (all ps range = <0.001–0.005) except from the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.06) and the North and South American sample (p = 0.53). No mediation was found for problem-solving (except from the Northern European sample, p = 0.009). Prosociality was the significant mediator in the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.016) and the Eastern European sample (p = 0.008). These findings indicate that fostering psychological flexibility may help to mitigate the adverse mental impacts of COVID-19 across regions. Roles of seeking social support, problem-solving and prosociality vary across regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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“At Least until the Second Wave Comes…”: A Twitter Analysis of the NHS and COVID-19 between March and June 2020
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083943 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 971
Abstract
In the UK, tweets around COVID-19 and health care have primarily focused on the NHS. Recent research has identified that the psychological well-being of NHS staff has been adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
In the UK, tweets around COVID-19 and health care have primarily focused on the NHS. Recent research has identified that the psychological well-being of NHS staff has been adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to investigate narratives relating to the NHS and COVID-19 during the first lockdown (26 March–4 July 2020). A total of 123,880 tweets were collated and downloaded bound to the time period of the first lockdown in order to analyse the real-time discourse around COVID-19 and the NHS. Content analysis was undertaken and tweets were coded to positive and negative sentiments. Five main themes were identified: (1) the dichotomies of ‘clap for carers’; (2) problems with PPE and testing; (3) peaks of anger; (4) issues around hero worship; and (5) hints of a normality. Further research exploring and documenting social media narratives around COVID-19 and the NHS, in this and subsequent lockdowns, should help in tailoring suitable support for staff in the future and acknowledging the profound impact that the pandemic has had. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Validation of the Korean Version of the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (K-C19PS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073747 - 03 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of a Korean version of the 20-item COVID-19 phobia tool, which was developed through a translation-reverse translation process. These data were collected from 226 persons using a self-reported questionnaire. Exploratory and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of a Korean version of the 20-item COVID-19 phobia tool, which was developed through a translation-reverse translation process. These data were collected from 226 persons using a self-reported questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to test construct validity. Finally, for 19 out of 20 items, the item-level convergence and differential validity were confirmed. In addition, the reliability and validity of the tool as a whole has been verified. For the subscales, Cronbach’s α was 0.90 for psychological, 0.87 for psychosomatic, 0.86 for economic, and 0.87 for social. Appropriate reliability was confirmed. Correlations between the COVID-19 phobia tool and fear of COVID-19 confirmed validity. The Korean version of the COVID-19 phobia tool is an appropriate scale for measuring the fear of COVID-19 and relevant psychological characteristics. Therefore, future studies in areas such as health and nursing could use this tool as required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Pathways Improving Compliance with Preventive Behaviors during the Remission Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073512 - 28 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a significant threat to people’s lives. Compliance with preventive behaviors, recommended by public health authorities, is essential for infection control. In the remission stage, one year after the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China, we advanced a moderated parallel mediation [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a significant threat to people’s lives. Compliance with preventive behaviors, recommended by public health authorities, is essential for infection control. In the remission stage, one year after the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China, we advanced a moderated parallel mediation model of the link between risk perception and compliance with preventive behaviors as well as a serial mediation model of the link between optimism and compliance with preventive behaviors, explaining the roles of various psychosocial factors in these associations. In January 2021, 200 participants under 50 years of age, located in 80 Chinese cities, participated in an online survey assessing risk perception, compliance with preventive behaviors, fear, anxiety, political trust, government dependency, and dispositional optimism. The results showed that the effect of risk perception on compliance with preventive behaviors was mediated by political trust and fear, and was moderated by government dependency. Anxiety and fear serially mediated the effect of optimism on compliance with preventive behaviors. Our study provided implications for future research to reduce negative emotions, strengthen confidence in the government, and sustain moderate government dependency accompanied by individual self-efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulnerable People Suffering from Depression: Two Studies on Adults in France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063250 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
This study investigated the difficulties experienced by people suffering from depression in coping with the stressful context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. Two large samples of the French population were classified on the basis of their depressive symptoms and completed an [...] Read more.
This study investigated the difficulties experienced by people suffering from depression in coping with the stressful context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. Two large samples of the French population were classified on the basis of their depressive symptoms and completed an online questionnaire on their emotions and their behaviors during the lockdown. Results showed that, compared to participants with no or mild mental health-related symptoms, participants with moderate to severe depressive symptoms suffered from greater psychological effects of the pandemic and the lockdown (fear, anxiety, sadness, sleep quality, loss of daily routine). However, health risk behaviors (smoking, drinking, non-compliance with lockdown and barrier gestures) and perceived vulnerability did not differ between the participant groups, although more severely depressed participants tended to be less respectful of health guidelines. In addition, the most heightened effects on the depressed participants were boredom and the feeling of social isolation, which was not compensated by the search for social affiliation. Supporting people with depression should be a public health priority because they suffer psychologically more than others from the pandemic and the lockdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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COVID-19 and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Community-Based Online Survey in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063228 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic itself and related public health measurements have had substantial impacts on individual social lives and psychological and mental health, all to the detriment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There have been extensive studies investigating the mental health of people [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic itself and related public health measurements have had substantial impacts on individual social lives and psychological and mental health, all to the detriment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There have been extensive studies investigating the mental health of people in different populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few studies have explored the impact of COVID-19 and its association with HRQoL. To fill this research gap and provide further empirical evidence, this study examined the impact of COVID-19 on Hong Kong people and evaluated its association with HRQoL. A total of 500 participants were randomly recruited to complete an online questionnaire on their concerns related to COVID-19. This entailed responding to the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF instrument. Data were collected between 24 April and 3 May 2020. Independent t-tests and multiple linear regressions were used to examine the association between the impact of COVID-19 and HRQoL. Overall, 69.6% of participants were worried about contracting COVID-19, and 41.4% frequently suspected themselves of being infected. Furthermore, 29.0% were concerned by the lack of disinfectants. All of these findings were associated with poorer HRQoL in the physical and psychological health, social relationships, and environment domains. On the other hand, 47.4% of participants were concerned that they may lose their job because of the pandemic, while 39.4% were bothered by the insufficient supply of surgical masks. These two factors were associated with poorer HRQoL in the physical and psychological health and environment domains. The adverse impact of COVID-19 on individuals is multifactorial, affecting all aspects of HRQoL. In addition to enhancing anti-epidemic efforts, it is equally important to implement public health and social welfare measures, thereby diminishing the adverse impact of COVID-19 on overall well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Assessing the Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 in Undergraduate Medical Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062952 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
Medical education has been uniquely affected by the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As the pandemic’s psychological impacts on medical students remain unclear, this study assessed COVID-19’s impacts on undergraduate medical students’ stress and anxiety. A nationwide, online survey was administered via email [...] Read more.
Medical education has been uniquely affected by the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As the pandemic’s psychological impacts on medical students remain unclear, this study assessed COVID-19’s impacts on undergraduate medical students’ stress and anxiety. A nationwide, online survey was administered via email chains between June-August 2020 to first-fourth year medical students in the United States. Demographics, 4-point Perceived Stress Scale that measures stress, 7-point Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale that measures anxiety, and the impacts of social, health, and academic stressors due to COVID-19 were collected. Of the 852 students who participated, 66.1% experienced mild, moderate, or severe anxiety. Mean PSS-4 score was 7.25/16. Stress was highest in second- through fourth-year students. Students with preexisting mental health conditions had significantly higher stress and anxiety scores, and higher percentage of stress attributed to COVID-19. Trust in government institutions during COVID-19 was the highest stressor in first- and second-year students. Delay/availability of standardized exams was the highest stressor for third-year students. Impact on rotations/residencies was the highest stressor for fourth-year students. Understanding how students’ anxiety and stress have changed due to COVID-19 will allow educators to identify students in need and guide recommendations on the implementation of psychological interventions and support strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Loneliness and Its Associated Factors Nine Months after the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-National Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062841 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1631
Abstract
COVID-19 has been a global healthcare concern impacting multiple aspects of individual and community wellness. As one moves forward with different methods to reduce the infection and mortality rates, it is critical to continue to study the impact that national and local “social [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has been a global healthcare concern impacting multiple aspects of individual and community wellness. As one moves forward with different methods to reduce the infection and mortality rates, it is critical to continue to study the impact that national and local “social distancing” policies have on the daily lives of individuals. The aim of this study was to examine loneliness in relation to risk assessment, measures taken against risks, concerns, and social media use, while adjusting for sociodemographic variables. The cross-sectional study collected data from 3474 individuals from the USA, the UK, Norway, and Australia. Loneliness was measured with the de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Multiple linear regression was used in the analysis of associations between variables. The results showed that concerns about finances were more strongly associated with social loneliness, while concerns about the future was more strongly associated with emotional loneliness. Longer daily time spent on social media was associated with higher emotional loneliness. In conclusion, pandemic-related concerns seem to affect perceptions of loneliness. While social media can be used productively to maintain relationships, and thereby prevent loneliness, excessive use may be counterproductive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Effects of Lifestyle Changes on the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers with Different Sense of Coherence Levels in the Era of COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062801 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Sense of coherence (SOC) is a psychological factor that contributes to mental health maintenance under stressful environment. Likewise, level of SOC might affect mental health among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic differently. In this study, we investigated the relationships between lifestyle changes [...] Read more.
Sense of coherence (SOC) is a psychological factor that contributes to mental health maintenance under stressful environment. Likewise, level of SOC might affect mental health among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic differently. In this study, we investigated the relationships between lifestyle changes and mental health (General Health Questionnaire-12: GHQ-12) among different level of SOC (weak, moderate, or strong by SOC-13). The data of 898 healthcare workers from cross-sectional survey dataset were extracted and analyzed. As results, based on GHQ-12 score, 86.1% of 244 participants with weak SOC, 60.1% of 606 participants with moderate SOC, and 31.3% of 48 participants with strong SOC had poor mental health. Both SOC levels and lifestyle changes (except alcohol consumption) had significant main effects on the GHQ-12 score. Analysis on the association between lifestyle changes and mental health status stratified by SOC level reveled that among participants with weak SOC, those who increased their leisure and activity time had reduced odds of poor mental health than those who made no changes (OR: 0.08, CI: 0.01 to 0.64). Healthcare workers with weak SOC were at risk of poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and lifestyle changes may improve their mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Burnout of Healthcare Workers amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Japanese Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052434 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has drastically changed how we live and work. Amid the prolonged pandemic, burnout of the frontline healthcare professionals has become a significant concern. We conducted a cross-sectional survey study to provide data about the relationship between [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has drastically changed how we live and work. Amid the prolonged pandemic, burnout of the frontline healthcare professionals has become a significant concern. We conducted a cross-sectional survey study to provide data about the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals in Japan. Healthcare workers in a single Japanese national university hospital participated in the survey, including basic demographics, whether a participant engaged in care of COVID-19 patients in the past 2 weeks and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Of those, 25.4% fully answered the survey; 33.3% were doctors and 63.6% were nurses, and 36.3% engaged in care of COVID-19 patients in the past 2 weeks. Compared to those belonging to General Medicine, those in Emergency Intensive Care Unit were at higher risk of burnout (odds ratio (OR), 6.7; 95% CI, 1.1–42.1; p = 0.031). Of those who engaged in care of COVID-19 patients, 50% reported burnout while 6.1% did not (OR 8.5, 95% CI; 1.3–54.1; p = 0.014). The burnout of healthcare workers is a significant concern amid the pandemic, which needs to be addressed for sustainable healthcare delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
“Everything Is Gonna Be Alright with Me”: The Role of Self-Compassion, Affect, and Coping in Negative Emotional Symptoms during Coronavirus Quarantine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042017 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1665
Abstract
Self-compassion has been associated with less distress, particularly when people face stressful and negative events. This study analyzed the mediation role of coping and affect in the relation between self-compassion and negative emotional symptoms during the quarantine decreed by Portuguese Health Authorities in [...] Read more.
Self-compassion has been associated with less distress, particularly when people face stressful and negative events. This study analyzed the mediation role of coping and affect in the relation between self-compassion and negative emotional symptoms during the quarantine decreed by Portuguese Health Authorities in the first phase of the coronavirus outbreak. A total of 428 Portuguese adults (75% women; Mage = 40.8, SD = 11.6) completed an online survey comprised by the Self-Compassion Scale (predictor); Short Version of Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (outcomes); The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; and Brief-COPE. These instruments were adapted to COVID 19’s epidemic. Parallel mediation analyses demonstrated that self-compassionate participants were at less risk of suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress during the quarantine. Plus, the relation between self-compassion and depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms were mediated by negative affect and dysfunctional coping style, but only for symptoms of depression. The findings support coping strategies and affect as links between self-compassion and distress but also the importance of separately analyzing the role of self-compassion, negative affect, and coping on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Low self-compassion might increase negative affect, maintaining stress responses to face demanding events during the COVID-19 epidemic. Results were discussed in the context of the pandemic outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Role of Employee Relations in Shaping Job Satisfaction as an Element Promoting Positive Mental Health at Work in the Era of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041903 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4329
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of employees. Deterioration of the well-being of workers is also caused by changes in the working environment. Remote working can affect both social interactions and job satisfaction. The purpose of the study is to examine [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of employees. Deterioration of the well-being of workers is also caused by changes in the working environment. Remote working can affect both social interactions and job satisfaction. The purpose of the study is to examine what factors influence job satisfaction in the context of remote work caused by a pandemic. The study analyses whether employee relations and interpersonal trust are related to the level of perceived job satisfaction. The investigation started with a literature review and then research hypotheses have been formulated. Based on an empirical study, carried out on a sample of 220 IT employees during the pandemic, an analysis of the mediating role of trust in links between employee relations and perceived job satisfaction was conducted. The current study found that positive employee relations contribute to the level of job satisfaction. Additionally, trust is an important factor that mediates these relationships. Based on the results of the research, it was possible to describe the mechanism of shaping a supportive work environment during a pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Assessment of the Impact of a Daily Rehabilitation Program on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms and the Quality of Life of People with Mental Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041434 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Community psychiatry is a modern and effective form of care for patients with mental disorders. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of a rehabilitation program at the Mental Health Support Centre in Tarnowskie Góry (Poland) on reducing severity of [...] Read more.
Community psychiatry is a modern and effective form of care for patients with mental disorders. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of a rehabilitation program at the Mental Health Support Centre in Tarnowskie Góry (Poland) on reducing severity of anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as improving overall quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study involved 35 patients, examined with an authors’ questionnaire on sociodemographic data, the Hospital Scale of Anxiety and Depression (HADS) and the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Data was obtained during the first national lockdown and compared to data gathered before the pandemic on the same study group. Imposed restrictions, negative emotional state during lockdown, subjectively assessed higher health risk and a low level of knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic did not significantly correlate with a severity of depression and anxiety, as well as general quality of life. However, the comparison of the results obtained in HADS and SF-36 scales show a significant improvement in both categories. Rehabilitation activities, including physical training, cognitive exercise and social therapy, reduce the severity of the symptoms and have a positive effect on the overall quality of life in patients suffering from schizophrenia and affective disorders. Therefore, holistic mental health support services may positively affect building an individual resilience. The severity of anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic shows a negative correlation with the patient’s age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Anxiety and Panic Buying Behaviour during COVID-19 Pandemic—A Qualitative Analysis of Toilet Paper Hoarding Contents on Twitter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031127 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3223
Abstract
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had increased population-level anxiety and had elicited panic buying behaviour across the world. The over-hoarding of toilet paper has received a lot of negative public attention. In this work, we used Twitter data to qualitatively [...] Read more.
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had increased population-level anxiety and had elicited panic buying behaviour across the world. The over-hoarding of toilet paper has received a lot of negative public attention. In this work, we used Twitter data to qualitatively analyse tweets related to panic buying of toilet paper during the crisis. Methods: A total of 255,171 tweets were collected. Of these 4081 met our inclusion criteria and 100 tweets were randomly selected to develop a coding scheme in the initial phase. Random samples of tweets in folds of 100 were then qualitatively analysed in the focused coding phase until saturation was met at 500 tweets analysed. Results: Five key themes emerged: (1) humour or sarcasm, (2) marketing or profiteering, (3) opinion and emotions, (4) personal experience, and (5) support or information. About half of the tweets carried negative sentiments, expressing anger or frustration towards the deficiency of toilet paper and the frantic situation of toilet paper hoarding, which were among the most influential tweets. Discussion: Panic buying of toilet paper was seen during the 2020 pandemic period with a mass amount of related content spread across social media. The spontaneous contagion of fear and panic through social media could fuel psychological reactions in midst of crises. The high level of negative social media posts regarding the toilet paper crisis acts as an emotional trigger of public anxiety and panic. Conclusions: Social media data can provide rapid infodemiology of public mental health. In a pandemic or crisis situation, real-time data could be monitored and content-analysed for authorities to promptly address public concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Burnout and Depression in Portuguese Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic—The Mediating Role of Psychological Resilience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020636 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2846
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers (HCW) have been exposed to multiple psychosocial stressors. Resilience might protect employees from the negative consequences of chronic stress. The aim of this study was to explore the mediating role of resilience in the relationship between depression [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers (HCW) have been exposed to multiple psychosocial stressors. Resilience might protect employees from the negative consequences of chronic stress. The aim of this study was to explore the mediating role of resilience in the relationship between depression and burnout (personal, work-related, and client-related). A cross-sectional study was performed using an online questionnaire distributed via social networks. A survey was conducted comprising standardized measures of resilience (Resilience Scale-25 items), depression (subscale of Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 items), and burnout (Copenhagen Burnout Inventory Scale-19 items). A total of 2008 subjects completed the survey, and a hierarchical regression model was estimated for each burnout dimension. The results revealed that depression had not only a directed effect on personal, work- and client-related burnout, but also an indirect small effect on it through resilience. Psychological resilience played a partial mediating role between depression and all burnout dimensions. This partial mediation suggests that there may be other possible variables (e.g., social connection, self-compassion, gratitude, sense of purpose) that further explain the associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Psychological Impact on the Nursing Professionals of the Rioja Health Service (Spain) Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Virus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020580 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1815
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency that has affected health professionals around the world, causing physical and mental exhaustion with a greater probability of developing mental disorders in professionals who provide healthcare. Objective: The objective of this study was to [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency that has affected health professionals around the world, causing physical and mental exhaustion with a greater probability of developing mental disorders in professionals who provide healthcare. Objective: The objective of this study was to know the psychological impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the nursing professionals working for the Rioja Health Service. Methods: We conducted an observational and descriptive cross-sectional study. The nursing staff at the Rioja Health Service were invited to respond to a self-administered questionnaire between June and August 2020. Results: A total of 605 health professionals participated in the questionnaire; 91.9% were women, 63.14% were registered nurses, and 36.28% were auxiliary nurses. Risk factors for mental health professionals were identified in more than 90% of nurses (p = 0.009), affecting their psychological state with feelings of exhaustion, emotional overload (p = 0.002), and less use of coping strategies among women. Younger professionals with less experience had higher levels of stress compared to those with more than five years of experience, who showed a progressive reduction in the impact of stressors (p < 0.001). Professionals with dependent family members presented higher levels of emotional overload and coping problems (p = 0.009). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant psychological impact on health professionals in terms of stress, emotional well-being, and the use of coping strategies. Female health professionals with dependents, a temporary contract, and less work experience have been more psychologically affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Reduced Hedonic Tone and Emotion Dysregulation Predict Depressive Symptoms Severity during the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Observational Study on the Italian General Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010255 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has spiked stress-related symptoms worldwide. This study aims to assess depressive symptoms related to the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak among the Italian general population and to analyze anhedonia and emotion dysregulation as potential predictors of depression severity. Through [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spiked stress-related symptoms worldwide. This study aims to assess depressive symptoms related to the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak among the Italian general population and to analyze anhedonia and emotion dysregulation as potential predictors of depression severity. Through an online questionnaire, we collected sociodemographic and lockdown-related information; depressive symptoms, hedonic tone, and emotion dysregulation were assessed through the Beck Depression Inventory II, the Snaith–Hamilton Pleasure Scale, and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, respectively. In our sample (n = 500), 122 individuals (24.4%) reported depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals with and without depression differed in gender (X2 = 4.77, df = 1, p = 0.02) and age (X2 = 15.7, df = 4, p = 0.003). Among individuals presenting with depressive symptoms, those reporting close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were at higher risk for severe depression (p = 0.026). Reduced hedonic tone (p = 0.014) and emotion dysregulation (p < 0.001) also predicted depression severity. To the best of our knowledge, these are among the earliest data that focus on the risk for depression among a sizeable sample of the Italian general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our results indicate emotion dysregulation and reduced hedonic tone as potential factors predicting COVID-19-related depression severity and provide insight into developing targeted intervention policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
COVID-19-Related Fear and Anxiety: Spiritual-Religious Coping in Healthcare Workers in Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010220 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2266
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of the general population, and for healthcare workers (HCWs) it has been no different. Religiosity and spirituality are known coping strategies for mental illnesses, especially in stressful times. This study aimed to describe the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of the general population, and for healthcare workers (HCWs) it has been no different. Religiosity and spirituality are known coping strategies for mental illnesses, especially in stressful times. This study aimed to describe the role of spiritual-religious coping regarding fear and anxiety in relation to COVID-19 in HCWs in Portugal. A cross-sectional quantitative online survey was performed. Socio-demographic and health data were collected as well as the Duke University Religion Index, Spirituality Scale, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Two hundred and twenty-two HCWs participated in the study, 74.3% were female and 81.1% were physicians. The median age was 37 years (Q1, Q3: 31, 51.3). Religiosity was neither a significant factor for coronavirus-related anxiety nor it was for fear of COVID-19. Participants with higher levels in the hope/optimism dimension of the Spirituality Scale showed less coronavirus-related anxiety. Female HCWs, non-physicians, and the ones with a previous history of anxiety presented higher levels of fear and/or anxiety related to COVID-19. HCWs’ levels of distress should be identified and reduced, so their work is not impaired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Coping Mechanisms: Exploring Strategies Utilized by Japanese Healthcare Workers to Reduce Stress and Improve Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010131 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major problem affecting the mental health of millions of people, including healthcare workers. In this study, we analyzed risk factors and coping mechanisms that could reduce the risk of poor mental health among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major problem affecting the mental health of millions of people, including healthcare workers. In this study, we analyzed risk factors and coping mechanisms that could reduce the risk of poor mental health among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. A cross-sectional survey was conducted for 7 days from 30 April 2020 using a web-based questionnaire. The survey assessed various outcome measures, including the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), health status, satisfaction with daily life activities, work, leisure, and new activities, and anxiety over COVID-19. Data from 661 participants were analyzed, and 440 participants (66.6%) showed poor mental health (GHQ-12 ≥ 4). Also, our result showed that female gender, lower levels of communication with friends, and high anxiety were associated with poorer mental health. In contrast, good health status, high work satisfaction, and high satisfaction from new activities were associated with buffering mental health problem. Most participants chose an escape-avoidance coping strategy, and participants with worse mental health were more likely to adopt seeking social support as a coping strategy. These results may support healthcare workers to cope with mental health problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Emotional Eating in Relation to Worries and Psychological Distress Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Population-Based Survey on Adults in Norway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010130 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2356
Abstract
Population-based studies have revealed a high occurrence of self-reported psychological distress symptoms during the early phases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Stress and negative affect can lead to emotional eating, which in turn can have negative outcomes on health. In this [...] Read more.
Population-based studies have revealed a high occurrence of self-reported psychological distress symptoms during the early phases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Stress and negative affect can lead to emotional eating, which in turn can have negative outcomes on health. In this population-based study, 24,968 Norwegian inhabitants participated in an electronic questionnaire including structured questions on dietary habits, emotional eating, psychological distress symptoms, and COVID-19-related worries. The study took place during April 2020 after around six weeks of interventions to tackle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, emotional eating was reported in 54% of the population and was markedly more frequent in female participants. Worries related to consequences of the pandemic were associated with increased emotional eating, and the association was stronger for worries related to personal economy—odds ratios (OR) 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI95%) 1.5–1.9)—compared to worries related to health—OR 1.3 (CI95% 1.2–1.5). Psychological distress had a strong association with emotional eating—OR 4.2 (CI95% 3.9–4.4). Correspondingly, the intake of high-sugar foods and beverages was higher for those with substantial COVID-19-related worries and those with psychological distress compared to the overall population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Psychological Impact of ‘Mild Lockdown’ in Japan during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Nationwide Survey under a Declared State of Emergency
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249382 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3069
Abstract
This study examined the psychological distress caused by non-coercive lockdown (mild lockdown) in Japan. An online survey was conducted with 11,333 people (52.4% females; mean age = 46.3 ± 14.6 years, range = 18–89 years) during the mild lockdown in the seven prefectures [...] Read more.
This study examined the psychological distress caused by non-coercive lockdown (mild lockdown) in Japan. An online survey was conducted with 11,333 people (52.4% females; mean age = 46.3 ± 14.6 years, range = 18–89 years) during the mild lockdown in the seven prefectures most affected by COVID-19 infection. Over one-third (36.6%) of participants experienced mild-to-moderate psychological distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale [K6] score 5–12), while 11.5% reported serious psychological distress (K6 score ≥ 13). The estimated prevalence of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥ 10) was 17.9%. Regarding the distribution of K6 scores, the proportion of those with psychological distress in this study was significantly higher when compared with the previous national survey data from 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Healthcare workers, those with a history of treatment for mental illness, and younger participants (aged 18–19 or 20–39 years) showed particularly high levels of psychological distress. Psychological distress severity was influenced by specific interactional structures of risk factors: high loneliness, poor interpersonal relationships, COVID-19-related sleeplessness and anxiety, deterioration of household economy, and work and academic difficulties. Even when non-coercive lockdowns are implemented, people’s mental health should be considered, and policies to prevent mental health deterioration are needed. Cross-disciplinary public–private sector efforts tailored to each individual’s problem structure are important to address the mental health issues arising from lockdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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University Students’ Perceived Peer Support and Experienced Depressive Symptoms during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mediating Role of Emotional Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249308 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1900
Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected individuals’ mental health. Social isolation as a result of social distancing during the pandemic potentially affects the associations among perceived available peer support, emotional well-being, and depression in university students. The present study examined the associations [...] Read more.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected individuals’ mental health. Social isolation as a result of social distancing during the pandemic potentially affects the associations among perceived available peer support, emotional well-being, and depression in university students. The present study examined the associations among university students’ perceived available peer support, emotional well-being (as indicated negatively by loneliness and negative affects and positively by positive affects and hope), and depressive symptoms. During the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in July, 2020, 255 students at a public university in Hong Kong participated in an online-based survey that assessed their perceived available peer support, emotional well-being, and depressive symptoms. Results showed that perceived available peer support negatively contributed to depressive symptoms; both negative and positive indicators of emotional well-being mediated the association between perceived available peer support and depressive symptoms. Our results also suggested that university students showed signs of elevated depressive symptoms during the pandemic. Thus, our study advanced the theoretical understanding of university students’ mental health in the time of a global pandemic. Our study also highlighted the practical needs for preventive efforts and accessible care to support the psychological and emotional needs of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Associated Factors during the Early Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Norway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249210 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
The COVID-19 outbreak and the sudden lockdown of society in March 2020 had a large impact on people’s daily life and gave rise to concerns for the mental health in the general population. The aim of the study was to examine post-traumatic stress [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the sudden lockdown of society in March 2020 had a large impact on people’s daily life and gave rise to concerns for the mental health in the general population. The aim of the study was to examine post-traumatic stress reactions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of symptom-defined post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and factors associated with post-traumatic stress in the Norwegian population during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. A survey was administered via social media channels, to which a sample of 4527 adults (≥18 years) responded. Symptom-defined PTSD was measured with the PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5. The items were specifically linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. We used the DSM-5 diagnostic guidelines to categorize participants as fulfilling the PTSD symptom criteria or not. Associations with PTSD were examined with single and multiple logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of symptom-defined PTSD was 12.5% for men and 19.5% for women. PTSD was associated with lower age, female gender, lack of social support, and a range of pandemic-related variables such as economic concerns, expecting economic loss, having been in quarantine or isolation, being at high risk for complications from COVID-19 infection, and having concern for family and close friends. In conclusion, post-traumatic stress reactions appear to be common in the Norwegian population in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Concerns about finances, health, and family and friends seem to matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Mental Health Status of University Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Post–Movement Lockdown Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249155 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
This study investigated the prevalence and severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and determined the association between various factors, social support, and depression, anxiety, and stress among university healthcare workers in Malaysia after the government lifted the movement control order (MCO) put in [...] Read more.
This study investigated the prevalence and severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and determined the association between various factors, social support, and depression, anxiety, and stress among university healthcare workers in Malaysia after the government lifted the movement control order (MCO) put in place to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This online, cross-sectional survey recruited 399 participants from two university hospitals, and they were administered a self-reported questionnaire on demographic, personal, and clinical characteristics, as well as COVID-19-related stressors and coping. In addition, they completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) to measure perceived social support, as well as the 21-item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) to assess depression, anxiety, and stress. We found that the prevalence rates of depression, anxiety, and stress were 21.8%, 31.6%, and 29.1%, respectively. Participants with moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress made up 13.3%, 25.8%, and 8.1% of the sample, respectively. Being single or divorced, fear of frequent exposure to COVID-19 patients, agreeing that the area of living had a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases, uncertainty regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the area of living, and a history of pre-existing psychiatric illnesses were associated with higher odds of depression, anxiety, and stress. Conversely, having more than three children and greater perceived friend support were associated with lower odds of depression, anxiety, and stress. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress remained elevated even after the MCO was lifted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
The Bittersweet Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health: Results of an Online Survey among a Sample of the Dutch Population Five Weeks after Relaxation of Lockdown Restrictions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239073 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Previous research shows that crises can have both negative and positive mental health effects on the population. The current study explored these effects in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic after relaxation of governmental measures. An online survey was administered among a representative [...] Read more.
Previous research shows that crises can have both negative and positive mental health effects on the population. The current study explored these effects in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic after relaxation of governmental measures. An online survey was administered among a representative sample of the Dutch population (n = 1519) in June 2020, ten weeks after the peak of COVID-19 had passed, and five weeks after restrictions were relaxed. Participants were asked about mental health, adverse events during COVID-19, and about any positive effects of the pandemic. Most participants (80%, n = 1207) reported no change in mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also the case among respondents who had experienced an adverse event. Protective factors of mental health were being male and high levels of positive mental well-being. Risk factors were emotional loneliness and the experience of adverse life events. Social loneliness was positively associated with stable mental health, stressing the importance of meaningful relationships. Note that 58% of participants reported positive effects of the pandemic, the most common of which were rest, working from home, and feeling more socially connected. In summary, 10 weeks after the start of the crisis, and 5 weeks after relaxation of the restrictions, most people remained stable during the crisis, and were even able to report positive effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Social Media Activities, Emotion Regulation Strategies, and Their Interactions on People’s Mental Health in COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238931 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4183
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the general population’s life worldwide. People may spend more time on social media because of policies like “work at home”. Using a cross-sectional dataset collected through an online survey in February 2020, in China, we examined (1) [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the general population’s life worldwide. People may spend more time on social media because of policies like “work at home”. Using a cross-sectional dataset collected through an online survey in February 2020, in China, we examined (1) the relationships between social media activities and people’s mental health status and (2) the moderation effect of emotional-regulation strategies. The sample included people aged ≥18 years from 32 provinces and regions in China (N = 3159). The inferential analyses included a set of multiple linear regressions with interactions. Our results showed that sharing timely, accurate, and positive COVID-19 information, reducing excessive discussions on COVID-19, and promoting caring online interactions rather than being judgmental, might positively associate with the general public’s psychological well-being. Additionally, the relationships between social media activities and psychological well-being varied at different emotion-regulation strategy levels. Adopting the cognitive reappraisal strategy might allay the adverse relationships between certain social media activities and mental health indicators. Our findings expanded the theory of how social media activities can be associated with a human being’s mental health and how it can interact with emotion-regulation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Examining the Associations between Psychological Flexibility, Mindfulness, Psychosomatic Functioning, and Anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Path Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238764 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Social distancing plays a leading role in controlling the spread of coronavirus. However, prolonged lockdown can lead to negative consequences in terms of mental health. The goal of the research is to examine the relationship between anxiety and general psychosomatic functioning during the [...] Read more.
Social distancing plays a leading role in controlling the spread of coronavirus. However, prolonged lockdown can lead to negative consequences in terms of mental health. The goal of the research is to examine the relationship between anxiety and general psychosomatic functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of psychological flexibility and mindfulness is also considered. Variables were measured with self-report questionnaires and symptom checklists. The sample included 170 people (M = 27.79, SD = 8.16). Pearson’s correlation, stepwise regression, and path analysis were conducted. The results showed a significant positive relationship between state anxiety and somatic and psychological responses to the pandemic. Path analysis revealed that mindfulness had a direct negative impact on and decreased the level of state anxiety (b = −0.22, p = 0.002), whereas psychological flexibility influenced the variable indirectly (b = 0.23, p = 0.002) by enhancing psychosomatic functioning (b = −0.64, p < 0.001). Psychological flexibility and mindfulness may mediate the development of mental disorders and facilitate achieving overall wellbeing. The study points to the usefulness of mindfulness practice as a form of self-help with anxiety symptoms; this is crucial during the pandemic because contact with clients is restricted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Early Impact of the Covid-19 Emergency on Mental Health Workers: A Survey in Lombardy, Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8615; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228615 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Lombardy was the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in Italy, and in March 2020 the rapid escalation in cases prompted the Italian Government to decree a mandatory lockdown and to introduce safety practices in mental health services. The general objective of the study [...] Read more.
Lombardy was the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in Italy, and in March 2020 the rapid escalation in cases prompted the Italian Government to decree a mandatory lockdown and to introduce safety practices in mental health services. The general objective of the study is to evaluate the early impact of the Covid-19 emergency and quarantine on the well-being and work practices of mental health service personnel and professionals. Data were collected through an online survey of workers and professionals working with people with mental health problems in Lombardy in several outpatient and inpatient services. Their socio-demographic characteristics, professional background, description of working conditions during lockdown and psychological distress levels were collected. All analyses were performed on a sample of 241. Approximately, 31% of the participants obtained a severe score in at least one of the burnout dimensions, 11.6% showed moderate or severe levels of anxiety, and 6.6% had a moderate or severe level of depression. Different work conditions and patterns of distress were found for outpatient service workers and inpatient service workers. The overall impact of the Covid-19 emergency on mental health workers’ level of distress was mild, although a significant number of workers experienced severe levels of depersonalization and anxiety. More research is needed to assess specific predictive factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
The Psychological Consequences of COVID-19 and Lockdown in the Spanish Population: An Exploratory Sequential Design
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228578 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to analyze the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in the Spanish population and to identify what population profiles were most affected. The study used a sequential exploratory design. In the qualitative phase, 40 [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to analyze the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in the Spanish population and to identify what population profiles were most affected. The study used a sequential exploratory design. In the qualitative phase, 40 participants were recruited based on theoretically relevant criteria and the saturation of the information provided by the interviews. In the quantitative phase, a large representative sample was applied. The universe considered was the adult population of Spain. A total of 6789 surveys were conducted. Both the analysis of the narratives of the interviews and the responses to the panel survey showed relevant changes in attitudes and mood swings compared to the period prior to lockdown. These changes include dysphoric moods (i.e., experiences of distress such as sadness/depression, anxiety, rage, feeling of unreality, worry, etc.) and also some euphoric moods (i.e., feelings of well-being, happiness, etc.). A higher number of women were affected than men and a greater increase was observed in younger people. The findings of the study may serve as a basis for detecting needs and providing psychological support, as the symptoms detected as the most common are key for the processes of screening at-risk individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Feeling Anxious amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychosocial Correlates of Anxiety Symptoms among Filipina Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218102 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts psychological well-being (e.g., anxiety symptoms) among the general population of Hong Kong and migrant Filipina domestic helpers (FDHs). Having to live with the employers by law, FDHs’ working environment might affect their well-being during COVID-19 (e.g., household crowdedness/size, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts psychological well-being (e.g., anxiety symptoms) among the general population of Hong Kong and migrant Filipina domestic helpers (FDHs). Having to live with the employers by law, FDHs’ working environment might affect their well-being during COVID-19 (e.g., household crowdedness/size, insufficiency of protective equipment against COVID-19, increased workload). Research has suggested that coping resources (e.g., social support, COVID-19-related information literacy) and COVID-19-specific worries are associated with people’s well-being during COVID-19. This study examined the psychosocial correlates of probable anxiety among FDHs in Hong Kong amid the COVID-19 pandemic. By purposive sampling, FDHs (n = 295) were recruited and invited to complete a cross-sectional survey. Participants’ working environment (crowdedness, household size), COVID-19 job arrangements (workload, provision of protective equipment), coping resources (social support, COVID-19 information literacy), COVID-19-specific worries (contracting COVID-19, getting fired if contracting COVID-19), and anxiety symptoms were measured. Multivariate regression results showed that the insufficiency of protective equipment (OR = 1.58, 95%CI: 1.18, 2.11), increased workload (OR = 1.51, 95%CI: 1.02, 2.25), and worries about being fired if getting COVID-19 (OR = 1.32, 95%CI: 1.04, 1.68) were significantly associated with probable anxiety. This was one of the earliest studies to indicate that job arrangements and COVID-19-specific worries significantly contributed to FDHs’ anxiety symptoms. Our findings shed light on the importance of addressing employment-related rights and pandemic-specific worries through interventions among FDHs in Hong Kong during pandemic situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Is Quarantine for COVID-19 Pandemic Associated with Psychological Burden in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218099 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 953
Abstract
Background: Information on psychological impact of COVID-19 quarantine in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a chronic disorder with recurrent pulmonary exacerbations, is lacking. Psychological well-being was prospectively assessed during COVID-19 lockdown in Italy in a PCD population. Methods: we recruited 27 PCD patients and [...] Read more.
Background: Information on psychological impact of COVID-19 quarantine in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a chronic disorder with recurrent pulmonary exacerbations, is lacking. Psychological well-being was prospectively assessed during COVID-19 lockdown in Italy in a PCD population. Methods: we recruited 27 PCD patients and 27 healthy controls. To assess psychological well-being, psychological general well-being index and parenting stress index-short questionnaires were administered to participants ≥15 years-old and to mothers of participants <15 years-old, respectively. The PCD exacerbations since outbreak onset and frequency of quarantine weekly chest physiotherapy were compared to the same period of 2019. Outcomes: 70% of PCD mothers and 90% of PCD patients did not show parental stress levels or distress levels, respectively, and these groups showed no significant difference in stress compared to controls. The PCD pulmonary exacerbations occurred less frequently and weekly chest physiotherapy sessions significantly increased compared to the same period during 2019 (p < 0.05). Interpretation: During COVID-19 quarantine, a PCD population showed psychological well-being. Low exacerbation rate, explained by lower infectious exposure or improved compliance to chest physiotherapy, likely contributed to psychological well-being. Evaluating psychological burden and parental stress is a valuable tool for measuring the emotional impact of PCD and improving PCD medical care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic in Taiwan: An Online Survey on Worry and Anxiety and Associated Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217974 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
This study explored the associations of individual factors (demographic characteristics, self-confidence in responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and self-rated physical and mental health) and environmental factors (perceived confidence in COVID-19 management by the regional government and adequacy of resources and support [...] Read more.
This study explored the associations of individual factors (demographic characteristics, self-confidence in responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and self-rated physical and mental health) and environmental factors (perceived confidence in COVID-19 management by the regional government and adequacy of resources and support available to address the COVID-19 pandemic) with worry toward COVID-19 and general anxiety among people in Taiwan. The Chi-square was used to compare difference for worry and anxiety among categorical variables. The logistic regression was used to examine the associations between worry as well as anxiety and individual as well as environmental factors. In total, 1970 respondents were recruited and completed an online survey on worry regarding COVID-19, general anxiety during the pandemic, and individual and environmental factors. In total, 51.7% and 43.4% of respondents reported high levels of worry toward COVID-19 and general anxiety, respectively. Exhibited worse self-rated mental health, lower self-confidence in COVID-19 management, and insufficient mental health resources were significantly associated with high levels of both worry toward COVID-19 and general anxiety. Lower perceived confidence in COVID-19 management by the regional government was associated with a higher level of worry toward COVID-19. Lower perceived social support was associated with a higher level of general anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that high levels of worry toward COVID-19 and general anxiety were prevalent during the outbreak. This suggests health care providers need additional surveillance of worry and anxiety during the pandemic. Multiple individual and environmental factors related to worry toward COVID-19 and general anxiety were identified. Factors found in the present study can be used for the development of intervention programs, supportive services, and government policy to reduce worry and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Group Membership and Social and Personal Identities as Psychosocial Coping Resources to Psychological Consequences of the COVID-19 Confinement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7413; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207413 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1735
Abstract
The confinement imposed by measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic may in the short and medium term have psychological and psychosocial consequences affecting the well-being and mental health of individuals. This study aims to explore the role played by group membership and [...] Read more.
The confinement imposed by measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic may in the short and medium term have psychological and psychosocial consequences affecting the well-being and mental health of individuals. This study aims to explore the role played by group membership and social and personal identities as coping resources to face the experience of the COVID-19 confinement and radical disruption of social, work, family and personal life in a sample of 421 people who have experienced a month of strict confinement in the Region of Madrid. Our results show that identity-resources (membership continuity/new group memberships, and personal identity strength) are positively related to process-resources (social support and perceived personal control), and that both are related to better perceived mental health, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and higher well-being (life satisfaction and resilience) during confinement. These results, in addition to providing relevant information about the psychological consequences of this experience, constitute a solid basis for the design of psychosocial interventions based on group memberships and social identity as coping resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Doctors’ Mental Health in the Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic: The Roles of Work Demands and Recovery Experiences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197340 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2686
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic potentially increases doctors’ work demands and limits their recovery opportunity; this consequently puts them at a high risk of adverse mental health impacts. This study aims to estimate the level of doctors’ fatigue, recovery, depression, anxiety, and stress, and exploring [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic potentially increases doctors’ work demands and limits their recovery opportunity; this consequently puts them at a high risk of adverse mental health impacts. This study aims to estimate the level of doctors’ fatigue, recovery, depression, anxiety, and stress, and exploring their association with work demands and recovery experiences. This was a cross-sectional study among all medical doctors working at all government health facilities in Selangor, Malaysia. Data were collected in May 2020 immediately following the COVID-19 contagion peak in Malaysia by using self-reported questionnaires through an online medium. The total participants were 1050 doctors. The majority of participants were non-resident non-specialist medical officers (55.7%) and work in the hospital setting (76.3%). The highest magnitude of work demands was mental demand (M = 7.54, SD = 1.998) while the lowest magnitude of recovery experiences was detachment (M = 9.22, SD = 5.043). Participants reported a higher acute fatigue level (M = 63.33, SD = 19.025) than chronic fatigue (M = 49.37, SD = 24.473) and intershift recovery (M = 49.97, SD = 19.480). The majority of them had no depression (69.0%), no anxiety (70.3%), and no stress (76.5%). Higher work demands and lower recovery experiences were generally associated with adverse mental health. For instance, emotional demands were positively associated with acute fatigue (adj. b = 2.73), chronic fatigue (adj. b = 3.64), depression (adj. b = 0.57), anxiety (adj. b = 0.47), and stress (adj. b = 0.64), while relaxation experiences were negatively associated with acute fatigue (adj. b = −0.53), chronic fatigue (adj. b = −0.53), depression (adj. b = −0.14), anxiety (adj. b = −0.11), and stress (adj. b = −0.15). However, higher detachment experience was associated with multiple mental health parameters in the opposite of the expected direction such as higher level of chronic fatigue (adj. b = 0.74), depression (adj. b = 0.15), anxiety (adj. b = 0.11), and stress (adj. b = 0.11), and lower level of intershift recovery (adj. b = −0.21). In conclusion, work demands generally worsen, while recovery experiences protect mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic with the caveat of the role of detachment experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Emotional and Behavioral Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Health Anxiety, Intolerance of Uncertainty, and Distress (In)Tolerance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197241 - 03 Oct 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3057
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a worldwide threat to mental health. To optimize the allocation of health care resources, research on specific vulnerability factors, such as health anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and distress (in)tolerance, and particularly their effect on the time course of SARS-CoV-2 [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a worldwide threat to mental health. To optimize the allocation of health care resources, research on specific vulnerability factors, such as health anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and distress (in)tolerance, and particularly their effect on the time course of SARS-CoV-2 related anxiety appears crucial for supporting high risk groups suffering from elevated mental distress during the pandemic. N = 887 participants (78.4% female; Mage = 38.15, SD = 17.04) completed an online survey in Germany (April to mid-May 2020), comprising measures of SARS-CoV-2 related anxiety, health anxiety, safety and preventive behavior, intolerance of uncertainty, and distress intolerance. Higher levels of health anxiety pre and during COVID-19 were associated with an initially intensified increase (b = 1.10, p < 0.001), but later on a more rapid dampening (b = −0.18, p < 0.001) of SARS-CoV-2 related anxiety. SARS-CoV-2 related preventive behavior was intensified by both pre (b = 0.06, p = 0.01) and during (b = 0.15, p < 0.001) COVID-19 health anxiety, while reassurance behavior only was associated with health anxiety during COVID-19 (b = 0.14, p < 0.001). Distress intolerance and intolerance of uncertainty did not moderate the relationship between health anxiety and SARS-CoV-2 related anxiety and behavior. The results suggest detrimental effects of health anxiety on the emotional and behavioral response to virus outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Unemployment and Psychological Distress among Young People during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychological Resources and Risk Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197163 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5122
Abstract
In the wake of COVID-19, unemployment and its potential deleterious consequences have attracted renewed interest. We examined (1) the association between unemployment, occurring upon the coronavirus outbreak, and psychological distress among Israeli young people (20–35-years-old); (2) the associations between various psychological resources/risk factors [...] Read more.
In the wake of COVID-19, unemployment and its potential deleterious consequences have attracted renewed interest. We examined (1) the association between unemployment, occurring upon the coronavirus outbreak, and psychological distress among Israeli young people (20–35-years-old); (2) the associations between various psychological resources/risk factors and psychological distress; and (3) whether these resources and risk factors were moderators in the unemployment-psychological distress link. A real-time survey based on snowball sampling was conducted during the month of April 2020 (N = 390). We employed hierarchical linear models to explore associations between unemployment, psychological resources, risk factors, and psychological distress. Unemployment was independently associated with greater psychological distress. Perceived trust, optimism, and sense of mastery decreased psychological distress, whereas financial strain and loneliness during the crisis increased this distress. The effect of unemployment on psychological distress did not depend on participants’ resource and risk factor levels. Policymakers must develop and extend health initiatives aimed at alleviating the mental health consequences of COVID-19-related unemployment and promote labor market interventions to help young job seekers integrate into employment. These measures, which are in line with the UN sustainable development goals, should be seen as an important route to promote public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Thinking about My Existence during COVID-19, I Feel Anxiety and Awe—The Mediating Role of Existential Anxiety and Life Satisfaction on the Relationship between PTSD Symptoms and Post-Traumatic Growth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197062 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
Background: The global outbreak of COVID-19set new challenges and threats for every human being. In the psychological field it is similar to deep existential crises or a traumatic experience that may lead to the appearance or exacerbation of a serious mental disorder and [...] Read more.
Background: The global outbreak of COVID-19set new challenges and threats for every human being. In the psychological field it is similar to deep existential crises or a traumatic experience that may lead to the appearance or exacerbation of a serious mental disorder and loss of life meaning and satisfaction. Courtney et al. (2020) discussed deadly pandemic COVID-19 in the light of TMT theory and named it as global contagion of mortality that personally affected every human being. Such unique conditions activate existential fears as people start to be aware of their own mortality. Objective: The main aim of this study was to test the mediating effect of existential anxiety, activated by COVID-19 and life satisfaction (SWLS) on the relationship between PTSD symptoms and post-traumatic growth (PTG). We also examined the moderated mediating effect of severity of trauma symptoms on life satisfaction and existential anxiety and its associations with PTG. Method: We conducted an online survey during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Poland. The participants completed existential anxiety scale (SNE), life satisfaction scale (SWLS), IES-R scale for measuring the level of PTSD symptoms and post-traumatic growth inventory (PTGI). Results: The effect of PTSD on PTG was found to be mediated by existential anxiety and life satisfaction. We also confirmed two indirect effects: (1) the indirect effect of PTSD on PTG via existential anxiety and life satisfaction tested simultaneously; (2) the indirect effect of life satisfaction on PTG through severity of trauma symptoms. An intermediate or high level of PTSD level was related to less PTG when low and full PTSD stress symptoms strengthened PTG experiences. Conclusions: A therapeutic intervention for individuals after traumatic experience should attempt to include fundamental existential questions and meaning of life as well as the severity of PTSD symptoms. The severity of traumatic sensations may affect the relationship between life satisfaction and post-traumatic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health: The Role of Locus on Control and Internet Use
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 6985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196985 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3155
Abstract
The true extent of the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear, but early evidence suggests poorer mental health among those exposed to the pandemic. The Internet may have differential effects, by both connecting people with resources, or reinforce the constant [...] Read more.
The true extent of the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear, but early evidence suggests poorer mental health among those exposed to the pandemic. The Internet may have differential effects, by both connecting people with resources, or reinforce the constant checking of negative information. Moreover, locus of control becomes important in an uncontrollable pandemic. The current study aimed to examine whether exposure to COVID-19 would relate to greater symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, and to examine the role of internet use and locus of control. Adults in the United States and five European countries (N = 1723) answered an online survey through the website Mturk. Results show elevated psychological symptoms among those who have become infected with COVID-19 or perceive themselves to be at high risk if infected. Experience using the Internet relates to fewer symptoms, but information seeking is associated with more symptoms. Internet social capital relates to fewer symptoms of depression. Having an external locus of control relates to greater symptoms. These findings suggest that public health officials need to focus on the mental health effects of the pandemic, and that internet use and locus of control could be targets to improve mental health in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Impact on Mental Health Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Study in Portugal and Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186794 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3771
Abstract
Mental health effects secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic were till recently considered less important or were neglected. Portugal and Brazil are facing the pandemic in quite different ways. This study aimed to describe the mental health status of the general adult population in [...] Read more.
Mental health effects secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic were till recently considered less important or were neglected. Portugal and Brazil are facing the pandemic in quite different ways. This study aimed to describe the mental health status of the general adult population in Portugal and Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic and analyze the differences between the two countries. A cross-sectional quantitative study was based on an online questionnaire. Socio-demographic data were collected in addition to four validated scales: CAGE (acronym cut-annoyed-guilty-eye) Questionnaire, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 and Patient Health Questionnaire-2. For each outcome, a multiple linear regression was performed. Five hundred and fifty people answered the questionnaire (435 women). The median age was 38 (Q1, Q3: 30, 47) years, 52.5% resided in Brazil and 47.5% in Portugal. The prevalence of anxiety was 71.3% (mild anxiety was present in 43.1%), the prevalence of depression was 24.7% and 23.8% of the sample had both depression and anxiety. Isolation was a significant factor for depression but not for anxiety. Well-being was below average. Mental illness was considerably higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. Portugal and Brazil will have to be prepared for future consequences of poor mental health and contribute immediate psychological support to their adult populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Social Distancing Compliance under COVID-19 Pandemic and Mental Health Impacts: A Population-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186692 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4040
Abstract
The success of public health measures for controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic relies on population compliance. We analyzed compliance with social distancing and its associations with mental health. The Hong Kong COVID-19 Health Information Survey was conducted from 9–23 April 2020 [...] Read more.
The success of public health measures for controlling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic relies on population compliance. We analyzed compliance with social distancing and its associations with mental health. The Hong Kong COVID-19 Health Information Survey was conducted from 9–23 April 2020 on 1501 adults randomly sampled for landline telephone interviews (n = 500) and online surveys (n = 1001). Compliance with social distancing and staying-at-home, stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4), anxiety (General Anxiety Disorders-2), and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-2) were collected. The associations between mental health symptoms and compliance were examined by multivariable regression models. Of the 1501 respondents (52.5% female, 72.3% aged 18–59 years), 74.2%, 72.7%, and 59.7% reported avoiding going out, going to crowded places, and attending social gatherings of more than four people, respectively. Most respondents had stayed-at-home for at least four of the past seven days (58.4%; mean 4.12, Standard Deviation 2.05). Adoption, perceived effectiveness, and perceived compliance with social distancing were associated with lower stress levels and less anxiety and depressive symptoms (all p < 0.01). However, more days stayed-at-home were associated with more depressive symptoms (adjusted Odds Ratio 1.09; 95%Confidence Interval 1.00, 1.18). The long-term psychological impact in relation to social distancing and staying-at-home requires further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Mental Health in Frontline Medical Workers during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease Epidemic in China: A Comparison with the General Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186550 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Background: Since December 2019, China has been affected by a severe outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Frontline medical workers experienced difficulty due to the high risk of being infected and long and distressing work shifts. The current study aims to evaluate psychological [...] Read more.
Background: Since December 2019, China has been affected by a severe outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Frontline medical workers experienced difficulty due to the high risk of being infected and long and distressing work shifts. The current study aims to evaluate psychological symptoms in frontline medical workers during the COVID-19 epidemic in China and to perform a comparison with the general population. Methods: An online survey was conducted from 14 February 2020 to 29 March 2020. A total of 899 frontline medical workers and 1104 respondents in the general population participated. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and resilience were assessed via the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), and abbreviated Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10), respectively. Results: Overall, 30.43%, 20.29%, and 14.49% of frontline medical workers in Hubei Province and 23.13%, 13.14%, and 10.64% of frontline medical workers in other regions reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia, respectively. In addition, 23.33%, 16.67%, and 6.67% of the general population in Hubei Province and 18.25%, 9.22%, and 7.17% of the general population in other regions reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia, respectively. The resilience of frontline medical staff outside Hubei Province was higher than that of the general population outside Hubei Province. Conclusion: A large proportion of frontline medical workers and the general public experienced psychological symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak. Psychological services for frontline medical workers and the general public are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Physical Activity, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Stress among the Chinese Adult Population during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186494 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3038
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to global public health due to home confinement policies impacting on physical activity engagement and overall health. This study aimed to explore physical activity participation, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and levels of perceived stress among Chinese [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to global public health due to home confinement policies impacting on physical activity engagement and overall health. This study aimed to explore physical activity participation, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and levels of perceived stress among Chinese adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was conducted between 25 February and 15 March 2020. A total of 645 surveys were completed. Participants reported increased sedentary time from pre-COVID-19 period to the COVID-19 pandemic period (p < 0.05). Over 80% of the sample engaged in either low or moderate intensity physical activity. Participants’ average physical component summary score (PCS) and mental component summary score (MCS) for HRQoL were 75.3 (SD = 16.6) and 66.6 (SD = 19.3), respectively. More than half of participants (53.0%) reported moderate levels of stress. Significant correlations between physical activity participation, HRQoL, and levels of perceived stress were observed (p < 0.05). Prolonged sitting time was also found to have a negative effect on HRQoL (p < 0.05). During such periods of home confinement, public health strategies aimed at educating Chinese adults to enhance home-based physical activity may be necessary to maintain health on a population level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Resilience Moderates Negative Outcome from Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Moderated-Mediation Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186461 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3465
Abstract
Resilience refers to an individual’s healthy coping abilities when encountering adverse life events. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a situation with a high amount of stress exposure, which in turn may be associated with negative emotional outcome like depressive symptoms. The current study investigated [...] Read more.
Resilience refers to an individual’s healthy coping abilities when encountering adverse life events. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a situation with a high amount of stress exposure, which in turn may be associated with negative emotional outcome like depressive symptoms. The current study investigated if resilience moderated the effect of stress on symptoms of depression and if anxiety symptoms mediated this association. An adult sample of community controls completed the Perceived stress scale 14 (PSS-14), the Resilience scale for adults (RSA), the Patient health questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized anxiety disorder 7 (GAD-7). Independent samples t-test, correlation analyses and moderated mediation analyses were conducted. The results showed that resilience moderated the relations between stress and anxiety symptoms (β = −0.131, p < 0.001) as well as between stress and depressive symptoms (β = −0.068, p < 0.05). In support of a moderated mediation model, resilience moderated the indirect effect of stress on depressive symptom, as confirmed by the index of moderated mediation (IMM = −0.036, p < 0.001; [95% BCa: −0.055, −0.020]). The high resilience subgroup was less affected than the low resilience subgroup by the effect of stress exposure symptoms of depression, mediated by anxiety. The study shows that stress exposure is associated with symptoms of depression, and anxiety mediates this association. Level of resilience differentiates the direct and indirect effect of stress on depression. Knowledge about the effect of stress in response to a pandemic is important for developing treatment and prevention strategies for stress, depression and health-related anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Positive Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Mental Health of Female Teachers during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186450 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 7222
Abstract
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures were shown to impact negatively on people’s mental health. In particular, women were reported to be at higher risk than men of developing symptoms of stress/anxiety/depression, and resilience was considered a key factor for positive [...] Read more.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures were shown to impact negatively on people’s mental health. In particular, women were reported to be at higher risk than men of developing symptoms of stress/anxiety/depression, and resilience was considered a key factor for positive mental health outcomes. In the present study, a sample of Italian female teachers (n = 66, age: 51.5 ± 7.9 years) was assessed with self-report instruments one month before and one month after the start of the Covid-19 lockdown: mindfulness skills, empathy, personality profiles, interoceptive awareness, psychological well-being, emotional distress and burnout levels were measured. Meanwhile, they received an 8-week Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation (MOM) course, through two group meetings and six individual video-lessons. Based on baseline personality profiles, analyses of variance were performed in a low-resilience (LR, n = 32) and a high-resilience (HR, n = 26) group. The LR and HR groups differed at baseline in most of the self-report measures. Pre–post MOM significant improvements were found in both groups in anxiety, depression, affective empathy, emotional exhaustion, psychological well-being, interoceptive awareness, character traits and mindfulness levels. Improvements in depression and psychological well-being were higher in the LR vs. HR group. We conclude that mindfulness-based training can effectively mitigate the psychological negative consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, helping in particular to restore well-being in the most vulnerable individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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COVID-19 Pandemic: Age-Related Differences in Measures of Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176366 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 6414
Abstract
Background: The spread of COVID-19 along with strict public health measures have resulted in unintended adverse effects, including greater levels of distress, anxiety, and depression. This study examined relative presentations of these psychopathologies in different age groups in a Canadian cohort during the [...] Read more.
Background: The spread of COVID-19 along with strict public health measures have resulted in unintended adverse effects, including greater levels of distress, anxiety, and depression. This study examined relative presentations of these psychopathologies in different age groups in a Canadian cohort during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: Participants were subscribers to the Text4Hope program, developed to support Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey link was used to gather demographic information and responses on several self-report scales, such as Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Results: There were 8267 individuals who completed the survey, giving a response rate of 19.4%. Overall, 909 (11.0%) respondents identified as ≤25 years, 2939 (35.6%) identified as (26–40) years, 3431 (41.5%) identified as (41–60) years, 762 (9.2%) identified as over 60 years, and 226 (2.7%) did not identify their age. Mean scores on the PSS, GAD-7, and PHQ-9 scales were highest among those aged ≤25 and lowest amongst those aged >60 years old. Conclusions: The finding that the prevalence rates and the mean scores for stress, anxiety, and depression on standardized scales to decrease from younger to older subscribers is an interesting observation with potential implications for planning to meet mental health service needs during COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Development and Implementation of Societal Influences Survey Questionnaire (SISQ) for Peoples during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Validity and Reliability Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176246 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
The emergence of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had rapidly spread since FEB/MAR 2020. Policy to prevent transmission of COVDI-19 resulted in multi-dimensional impact on social interaction. We aimed to develop a beneficial survey tool with favorable quality and availability, the Societal Influences Survey [...] Read more.
The emergence of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had rapidly spread since FEB/MAR 2020. Policy to prevent transmission of COVDI-19 resulted in multi-dimensional impact on social interaction. We aimed to develop a beneficial survey tool with favorable quality and availability, the Societal Influences Survey Questionnaire (SISQ), to evaluate social influences on people during this pandemic. The SISQ was developed with 15 items and 4-point Likert scales consisting of five factors. These include social distance, social anxiety, social desirability, social information, and social adaptation. Construct validity and reliability were performed to verify the SISQ. A total of 1912 Taiwanese were recruited. The results demonstrated that the SISQ has acceptable reliability, with Cronbach’s alphas ranging between 0.57 and 0.76. The SISQ accounted for 58.86% and satisfied the requirement of Kaiser–Mayer–Olkinvalues (0.78) and significant Bartlett’s Test of sphericity. Moreover, the confirmatory factor analysis fit indices also indicated the adequacy of the model. As for multiple comparison, females scored higher than males in factor of social distance. Unemployed participants and those without partners scored higher in several domains of factors. The survey method and survey instrument prove reliable and valuable, also providing different categories of assessment results regarding social influences and their impacts. Further studies are warranted to extend the applicability of SISQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
How Personality Relates to Distress in Parents during the Covid-19 Lockdown: The Mediating Role of Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties and the Moderating Effect of Living with Other People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176236 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3594
Abstract
Since the initiation of the COVID-19 lockdown, Italian parents have been forced to manage their children at home. The present study aimed at investigating the psychological distress of parents during the lockdown, identifying contributing factors. An online survey was administered to 833 participants [...] Read more.
Since the initiation of the COVID-19 lockdown, Italian parents have been forced to manage their children at home. The present study aimed at investigating the psychological distress of parents during the lockdown, identifying contributing factors. An online survey was administered to 833 participants from 3 to 15 April 2020. Mediation and moderated mediation models were run to explore the association between parent neuroticism and parent distress, mediated by child hyperactivity–inattention and child emotional symptoms, and the moderating effect of living only with child(ren) on the direct and indirect effects of parent neuroticism on parent distress. For parents living only with child(ren), high levels of psychological distress depended exclusively on their levels of neuroticism. For parents living with at least one other person in addition to child(ren), distress levels were also mediated by child behavioral and emotional difficulties. Motherhood emerged as a significant factor contributing to greater distress. Furthermore, parent psychological distress decreased in line with increased child age. The results confirm that neuroticism is an important risk factor for mental health. Preventive measures should be primarily target multicomponent families with younger children and directed towards parents who are already known to present emotional instability and to parents of children who have received local mental health assistance for behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Predicting Psychological Distress Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic by Machine Learning: Discrimination and Coping Mechanisms of Korean Immigrants in the U.S.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176057 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3017
Abstract
The current study examined the predictive ability of discrimination-related variables, coping mechanisms, and sociodemographic factors on the psychological distress level of Korean immigrants in the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Korean immigrants (both foreign-born and U.S.-born) in the U.S. above the age of [...] Read more.
The current study examined the predictive ability of discrimination-related variables, coping mechanisms, and sociodemographic factors on the psychological distress level of Korean immigrants in the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Korean immigrants (both foreign-born and U.S.-born) in the U.S. above the age of 18 were invited to participate in an online survey through purposive sampling. In order to verify the variables predicting the level of psychological distress on the final sample from 42 states (n = 790), the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) analysis, which is able to examine complex non-linear interactions among variables, was conducted. The most critical predicting variables in the neural network were a person’s resilience, experiences of everyday discrimination, and perception that racial discrimination toward Asians has increased in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Risk Perception and Depression in Public Health Crises: Evidence from the COVID-19 Crisis in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165728 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
Background: Scant attention has been paid to how risk perceptions of public health crises may affect people’s mental health. Aims: The aims of this study are to (1) construct a conceptual framework for risk perception and depression of people in public health [...] Read more.
Background: Scant attention has been paid to how risk perceptions of public health crises may affect people’s mental health. Aims: The aims of this study are to (1) construct a conceptual framework for risk perception and depression of people in public health crises, (2) examine how the mental health of people in the crisis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is affected by risk perception and its associated factors, including distance perception of the crisis and support of prevention and control policies, and (3) propose policy recommendations on how to deal with psychological problems in the current COVID-19 crisis. Methods: Online questionnaire survey was implemented. A total of 6373 people visited the questionnaire online, 1115 people completed the questionnaire, and the number of valid questionnaires was 1081. Structural equation modeling was employed for data analysis. Results: Risk perception and its associated factors significantly affect the mental health of people in public health crises. Specifically, (1) distance perception of public health crises is negatively associated with depression among people, (2) affective risk perception is positively associated with depression of people in public health crises, (3) cognitive risk perception is negatively associated with depression of people in public health crises, and (4) support of prevention and control policies is negatively associated with depression of people in public health crises. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that risk perception plays an important role in affecting the mental health of people in a public health crisis. Therefore, health policies aiming to improve the psychological wellbeing of the people in a public health crisis should take risk perception into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Design and Validation of the Adaptation to Change Questionnaire: New Realities in Times of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155612 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 3092
Abstract
Emotional and cognitive-behavioral factors influence people’s adaptability to change. Based on this premise, the objective of this study was to develop, evaluate and validate the Adaptation to Change Questionnaire (ADAPTA-10) for identifying those who show poor adaptability to adverse situations, such as those [...] Read more.
Emotional and cognitive-behavioral factors influence people’s adaptability to change. Based on this premise, the objective of this study was to develop, evaluate and validate the Adaptation to Change Questionnaire (ADAPTA-10) for identifying those who show poor adaptability to adverse situations, such as those caused by COVID-19. This study was carried out in a sample of 1160 adults and produced a 10-item instrument with good reliability and validity indices. It is an effective tool useful in research and in clinical practice. Calculation tables are provided for the general Spanish population and by sex to evaluate adaptability to change. The two-dimensional structure proposed in the original model was confirmed. This instrument will enable the needs for adaptation to the new reality associated with COVID-19 to be detected and also other situations in which the subject becomes immersed which demand adaptation strategies in the new situation lived in. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Self-Control Moderates the Association Between Perceived Severity of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Mental Health Problems Among the Chinese Public
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134820 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 2878
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused thousands of deaths in China. Prior research suggests that individuals’ perceived severity of COVID-19 is related to a range of negative emotional and behavioral reactions among the Chinese public. However, scant research has examined the underlying mechanisms. [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused thousands of deaths in China. Prior research suggests that individuals’ perceived severity of COVID-19 is related to a range of negative emotional and behavioral reactions among the Chinese public. However, scant research has examined the underlying mechanisms. Drawing upon the risk-resilience model, this study proposes that self-control, as a resilient factor, would potentially moderate the association between perceived severity of COVID-19 and mental health problems. Data from a national survey was used to examine this idea. Participants were 4607 citizens from 31 regions in China (Mage = 23.71 years, 72.5% female) who completed a national survey at the beginning of February 2020. Results of hierarchical regression showed that after controlling for a number of demographic variables, perceived severity of COVID-19 and self-control were positively and negatively related to mental health problems, respectively. More importantly, self-control moderated the “perceived severity of COVID-19–mental health problems” association, with this link attenuating as the levels of self-control increased. These findings suggest that compared to those with high self-control, individuals with low self-control are more vulnerable and are more in need of psychological aids to maintain mental health in the encounter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Practically, enhancing individuals’ self-control ability might be a promising way to improve individuals’ mental health during the early period of the COVID-19 outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Provision of Psychotherapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Czech, German and Slovak Psychotherapists
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134811 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 16616
Abstract
Psychotherapists around the world are facing an unprecedented situation with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). To combat the rapid spread of the virus, direct contact with others has to be avoided when possible. Therefore, remote psychotherapy provides a valuable option [...] Read more.
Psychotherapists around the world are facing an unprecedented situation with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). To combat the rapid spread of the virus, direct contact with others has to be avoided when possible. Therefore, remote psychotherapy provides a valuable option to continue mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study investigated the fear of psychotherapists to become infected with COVID-19 during psychotherapy in personal contact and assessed how the provision of psychotherapy changed due to the COVID-19 situation and whether there were differences with regard to country and gender. Psychotherapists from three European countries: Czech Republic (CZ, n = 112), Germany (DE, n = 130) and Slovakia (SK, n = 96), with on average 77.8% female participants, completed an online survey. Participants rated the fear of COVID-19 infection during face-to-face psychotherapy and reported the number of patients treated on average per week (in personal contact, via telephone, via internet) during the COVID-19 situation as well as (retrospectively) in the months before. Fear of COVID-19 infection was highest in SK and lowest in DE (p < 0.001) and was higher in female compared to male psychotherapists (p = 0.021). In all countries, the number of patients treated on average per week in personal contact decreased (p < 0.001) and remote psychotherapies increased (p < 0.001), with more patients being treated via internet than via telephone during the COVID-19 situation (p < 0.001). Furthermore, female psychotherapists treated less patients in personal contact (p = 0.036), while they treated more patients via telephone than their male colleagues (p = 0.015). Overall, the total number of patients treated did not differ during COVID-19 from the months before (p = 0.133) and psychotherapy in personal contact remained the most common treatment modality. Results imply that the supply of mental health care could be maintained during COVID-19 and that changes in the provision of psychotherapy vary among countries and gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Article
Internalized Stigmatization, Social Support, and Individual Mental Health Problems in the Public Health Crisis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124507 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
This study investigates the relationship between internalized stigmatization brought on by epicenter travel experiences and mental health problems (including anxiety, depression, and shame) during the period of the novel coronavirus disease emergency in China. The cross-sectional data were collected using the time-lag design [...] Read more.
This study investigates the relationship between internalized stigmatization brought on by epicenter travel experiences and mental health problems (including anxiety, depression, and shame) during the period of the novel coronavirus disease emergency in China. The cross-sectional data were collected using the time-lag design to avoid the common method bias as much as possible. Regression results using structural equation modeling show that the internalized stigmatization of epicenter travel experiences may have positive relationships with mental health problems (i.e., anxiety, depression, and shame), and such relationships can be moderated by social support. Specifically, the positive relationships between internalized stigmatization and mental health problems are buffered/strengthened when social support is at a high/low level. The findings of this study suggest that, in this epidemic, people who have epicenter travel experience could be affected by internalized stigmatization, no matter whether they have ever got infected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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COVID-19-Related Factors Associated with Sleep Disturbance and Suicidal Thoughts among the Taiwanese Public: A Facebook Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124479 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 3520
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted many aspects of people’s lives all over the world. This Facebook survey study aimed to investigate the COVID-19-related factors that were associated with sleep disturbance and suicidal thoughts among members of the public during the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted many aspects of people’s lives all over the world. This Facebook survey study aimed to investigate the COVID-19-related factors that were associated with sleep disturbance and suicidal thoughts among members of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. The online survey recruited 1970 participants through a Facebook advertisement. Their self-reported experience of sleep disturbance and suicidal thoughts in the previous week were collected along with a number of COVID-19-related factors, including level of worry, change in social interaction and daily lives, any academic/occupational interference, levels of social and specific support, and self-reported physical health. In total, 55.8% of the participants reported sleep disturbance, and 10.8% reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous week. Multiple COVID-19-related factors were associated with sleep disturbance and suicidal thoughts in the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased worry about COVID-19, more severe impact of COVID-19 on social interaction, lower perceived social support, more severe academic/occupational interference due to COVID-19, lower COVID-19-specified support, and poorer self-reported physical health were significantly associated with sleep disturbance. Less handwashing, lower perceived social support, lower COVID-19-specified support, poorer self-reported physical health, and younger age were significantly associated with suicidal thoughts. Further investigation is needed to understand the changes in mental health among the public since the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Related Health Factors of Psychological Distress During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113947 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 70 | Viewed by 4493
Abstract
Measures to prevent and contain the COVID-19 health crisis include population confinement, with the consequent isolation and interruption of their usual activities. The aim of the study is to analyse psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this, a cross-sectional observational study with [...] Read more.
Measures to prevent and contain the COVID-19 health crisis include population confinement, with the consequent isolation and interruption of their usual activities. The aim of the study is to analyse psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this, a cross-sectional observational study with a sample of 4180 people over the age of 18 during quarantine was developed. Variables considered were sociodemographic variables, physical symptoms, health conditions, COVID-19 contact history and psychological adjustment. The data were collected through a self-developed questionnaire and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Bivariate analyses were performed, including Chi-Squared test and Student’s T-test. Predictive ability was calculated through logistic regression. Results obtained showed a high level of psychological distress (72.0%), with a higher percentage in women and people of lower middle age. Statistically significant differences were found in the variable working situation (χ² = 63.139, p 0.001, V = 0.123) and living with children under the age of 16 (χ² = 7.393, p = 0.007, V = 0.042). The predictive variables with the highest weight were sex (OR = 1.952, 95% IC = (1.667, 2.286)), presence of symptoms (OR = 1.130, 95% CI = (1.074, 1.190)), and having had close contact with an individual with confirmed COVID-19 (OR = 1.241, 95% CI = (1.026, 1.500)). These results could enrich prevention interventions in public health and, in particular, in mental health in similar pandemic situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Depression and Anxiety in Hong Kong during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103740 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 150 | Viewed by 16571
Abstract
It has been three months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, and people now have a more complete picture of the extent of the pandemic. Therefore, it is time to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on [...] Read more.
It has been three months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, and people now have a more complete picture of the extent of the pandemic. Therefore, it is time to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health. The current population-based study aimed to evaluate the depression and anxiety of people in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents were randomly recruited and asked to complete a structured questionnaire, including the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), the generalized anxiety disorder-7 (GAD-7), the global rating of change scale and items related to COVID-19. Of the 500 respondents included in the study, 19% had depression (PHQ-9 score ≥ 10) and 14% had anxiety (GAD score ≥ 10). In addition, 25.4% reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the pandemic. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that not experiencing the SARS outbreak in 2003, being worried about being infected by COVID-19, being bothered by having not enough surgical masks and being bothered by not being able to work from home were associated with a poorer mental health status. Psychological support, such as brief, home-based psychological interventions, should be provided to citizens during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Review
Psychological Effects of Home Confinement and Social Distancing Derived from COVID-19 in the General Population—A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126528 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
(1) Background: Home confinement and social distancing are two of the main public health measures to curb the spread of SARS-Cov-2, which can have harmful consequences on people’s mental health. This systematic review aims to identify the best available scientific evidence on the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Home confinement and social distancing are two of the main public health measures to curb the spread of SARS-Cov-2, which can have harmful consequences on people’s mental health. This systematic review aims to identify the best available scientific evidence on the impact that home confinement and social distancing, derived from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, have had on the mental health of the general population in terms of depression, stress and anxiety. (2) Methods: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and ScienceDirect between 2 January 2021 and 7 January 2021, in accordance with the recommendations of the PRISMA Declaration. The selection of studies and the evaluation of their methodological quality were performed in pairs, independently and blindly, based on predetermined eligibility criteria. (3) Results: The 26 investigations reviewed were developed in different regions and countries. Factors that are associated with poor mental health were female gender, young ages, having no income and suffering from a previous psychiatric illness. Inadequate management of the pandemic by authorities and a lack or excess of information also contributed to worse mental health. (4) Conclusions: There are groups of people more likely to suffer higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress during the restrictive measures derived from COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Review
Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Mental Health Outcomes among Youth: A Rapid Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116067 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has affected not only physical health but also mental health and psychological wellbeing. This narrative review aimed to map the literature on the psychological impact on the young generation of the COVID-19 pandemic, social restrictions, and extraordinary measures [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has affected not only physical health but also mental health and psychological wellbeing. This narrative review aimed to map the literature on the psychological impact on the young generation of the COVID-19 pandemic, social restrictions, and extraordinary measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. We performed a systematic search of MEDLINE through PubMed and Web of Science [Science Citation Index Expanded, SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)] of all scientific literature published from May 2020 until 15 March 2021. Based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 15 articles were included. We conducted a narrative review. The reviewed articles suggested the impact of the pandemic and lockdown measures on young persons for several mental symptoms as well as anxiety, stress, depression, event-specific distress, decrease in psychological wellbeing, and changes in sleep habits. Psychological symptoms were related to the experience of several stressors, such as risk for reduction of academic perspectives, massive e-learning adoption, economic issues, social restrictions, and implications for daily life related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This narrative review points out the negative psychological impact of the pandemic outbreak and the high vulnerability of the young in the development of psychological distress, highlighting the relevant focus on the mental health of young people during the pandemic and the need for structured and tailored psychological support and interventions focused to the improvement of Quality of Life of university students after the pandemic experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Review
The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a crisis worldwide, due to both its public health impact and socio-economic consequences. Mental health was consistently affected by the pandemic, with the emergence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders and the exacerbation of pre-existing ones. Urban [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a crisis worldwide, due to both its public health impact and socio-economic consequences. Mental health was consistently affected by the pandemic, with the emergence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders and the exacerbation of pre-existing ones. Urban areas were particularly affected by the virus spread. In this review, we analyze how the urban environment may influence mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, considering two factors that profoundly characterize urbanization: air pollution and migration. Air pollution serves as a possibly risk factor for higher viral spread and infection severity in the context of urban areas and it has also been demonstrated to play a role in the development of serious mental illnesses and their relapses. The urban environment also represents a complex social context where minorities such as migrants may live in poor hygienic conditions and lack access to adequate mental health care. A global rethinking of the urban environment is thus required to reduce the impact of these factors on mental health. This should include actions aimed at reducing air pollution and combating climate change, promoting at the same time a more inclusive society in a sustainable development perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Review
Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Healthcare Workers Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020601 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
Prevention of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in healthcare workers (HCWs) facing the current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge worldwide as HCWs are likely to experience acute and chronic, often unpredictable, occupational stressors leading to PTSS. This review aims to analyze the literature to [...] Read more.
Prevention of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in healthcare workers (HCWs) facing the current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge worldwide as HCWs are likely to experience acute and chronic, often unpredictable, occupational stressors leading to PTSS. This review aims to analyze the literature to discover which topics have been focused on and what the latest developments are in managing the occupational risk of PTSS in HCWs during the current pandemic. For the purpose of this review, we searched for publications in MEDLINE/Pubmed using selected keywords. The articles were reviewed and categorized into one or more of the following categories based on their subject matter: risk assessment, risk management, occurrence rates. A total of 16 publications matched our inclusion criteria. The topics discussed were: “Risk Assessment”, “Occurrence Rates”, and “Risk Management”. Young age, low work experience, female gender, heavy workload, working in unsafe settings, and lack of training and social support were found to be predictors of PTSS. This review’s findings showed the need for urgent interventions aimed at protecting HCWs from the psychological impact of traumatic events related to the pandemic and leading to PTSS; healthcare policies need to consider preventive and management strategies toward PTSS, and the related psychic sequelae, in HCWs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Review
Psychological Health and Physical Activity Levels during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249419 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4744
Abstract
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been devastating in all senses, particularly psychologically. Physical activity (PA) is known to aid psychological well-being, and it is worth investigating whether PA has been a coping strategy during this pandemic. The objective of this literature review [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been devastating in all senses, particularly psychologically. Physical activity (PA) is known to aid psychological well-being, and it is worth investigating whether PA has been a coping strategy during this pandemic. The objective of this literature review is to analyze the extent to which engaging in PA during the COVID-19 pandemic impacts psychological health in the adult population. The literature was searched in all databases from the EBSCOhost Research Database—MEDLINE, APA PsycArticles, between others—published between 1 January 2019 and 15 July 2020. From 180 articles found, 15 were eligible. The reviewed articles showed an association between mental health distress—e.g., stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, social isolation, psychological distress—and PA. This research concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures caused psychological distress. Those studies that analyzed PA showed that, during quarantine, adults increased their sedentary time and reduced their PA levels, showing controversial psychological outcomes. This review discusses whether PA is an effective strategy to face the COVID-19 pandemic psychological effects contributing to a further putative increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Review
Prevalence of Anxiety in Medical Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6603; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186603 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4235
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a great deal of pressure for medical students, who typically show elevated anxiety rates. Our aim is to investigate the prevalence of anxiety in medical students during this pandemic. This systematic review and mini meta-analysis [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a great deal of pressure for medical students, who typically show elevated anxiety rates. Our aim is to investigate the prevalence of anxiety in medical students during this pandemic. This systematic review and mini meta-analysis has been conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. Two researchers independently searched PubMed on 26 August 2020 for cross-sectional studies on medical students during the COVID-19 outbreak, with no language restrictions applied. We then performed a manual search to detect other potentially eligible investigations. To the 1361 records retrieved in the initial search, 4 more were added by manual search on medRxiv. Finally, eight studies were finally included for qualitative and quantitative analysis, which yielded an estimated prevalence of anxiety of 28% (95% CI: 22–34%), with significant heterogeneity between studies. The prevalence of anxiety in medical students is similar to that prior to the pandemic but correlates with several specific COVID-related stressors. While some preventive and risk factors have been previously identified in a non-pandemic context, knowledge and cognitions on COVID-19 transmission, treatment, prognosis and prevention negatively correlate with anxiety, emerging as a key preventive factor that may provide a rationale for why the levels of anxiety have remained stable in medical students during the pandemic while increasing in their non-medical peers and the general population. Other reasons for the invariability of anxiety rates in this population are discussed. A major limitation of our review is that Chinese students comprised 89% the total sample, which could compromise the external validity of our work Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Study Protocol
Grief Reactions and Grief Counseling among Bereaved Chinese Individuals during COVID-19 Pandemic: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial Combined with a Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179061 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
COVID-19 has caused nearly 4.3 million deaths all around the world. People who have experienced loss during this special period may find it difficult to adapt to life after loss, and may even suffer from prolonged grief disorder or other mental health problems. [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has caused nearly 4.3 million deaths all around the world. People who have experienced loss during this special period may find it difficult to adapt to life after loss, and may even suffer from prolonged grief disorder or other mental health problems. However, there is a huge gap of grief research in China, with almost no comprehensive grief intervention training system or very few professional grief consultants. Considering the large number of bereaved individuals who are suffering from grief and other mental health problems, it is significant to develop a suitable and effective intervention protocol immediately. This article illustrates a study protocol initiated by a Chinese university to investigate the mental health of bereaved individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic and train grief counselors to provide grief counseling to the bereaved, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the grief counseling. The method is as follows: (1) 300 psychological counselors will be recruited to attend the grief counseling training. Assessments will be conducted at three time points: baseline (T0), after the basic training (T1), and after the advanced training (T2); (2) 500 bereaved Chinese will be recruit to join the online survey and will be assessed at two time points with a six-month interval; and (3) a two-armed (grief counseling versus wait-list controls) RCT (random control trials) will be conducted with 160 bereaved individuals. Assessments will be conducted at three time points: before randomization (baseline, T0), at the post-counseling (T1), and three months after the post-counseling (T2). Primary outcomes will be assessed by the Prolonged Grief Questionnaire (PG-13), the 20-item PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). This research will help develop grief research and grief counseling in China, as well as provide professional mental health services for individuals who may suffer from grief-related disorders in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Study Protocol
Protocol for the Implementation and Assessment of “MoodUP”: A Stepped Care Model Assisted by a Digital Platform to Accelerate Access to Mental Health Care for Cancer Patients Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094629 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 900
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has important consequences for the mental health of populations. Patients with cancer, already at risk for poor mental health outcomes, are not expected to be spared from these consequences, prompting the need for health services to improve responsiveness. This article [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has important consequences for the mental health of populations. Patients with cancer, already at risk for poor mental health outcomes, are not expected to be spared from these consequences, prompting the need for health services to improve responsiveness. This article presents the research protocol for an implementation study designed to describe the uptake of a well-studied and recognized system for the treatment of depression and anxiety (Stepped-care) during the specific context of a Pandemic in an oncological site. The system set-up will be assisted by a digital platform (MoodUP), where patients undergoing cancer treatment will be screened for anxiety and depressive symptoms, triaged by severity level and algorithm-matched to recommended interventions. Patients undergoing cancer treatment at a cancer clinic in Portugal will be invited to subscribe to the MoodUP platform where they will complete a self-reported questionnaire (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) to screen their anxiety and depressive symptoms. Data will be instantly collected, and an algorithm will activate severity-matched intervention suggestions, through a case manager that will coordinate care. The specific objectives of this study will be to describe the implementation and acceptability of the care system by patients and staff, the barriers to and facilitators of implementation, the proportion of patients accessing the system and their pathways through the various stepped-care interventions, and patient perceptions regarding the feasibility and appropriateness of the eHealth platform. Moreover, exploratory analyses will be conducted to describe patterns of anxiety and depression symptoms variation across all patients, as well as within sociodemographically, clinically and contextually characterized subgroups, to characterize their care needs and access, as well as to explore for whom the MoodUP care system may be more appropriate. This study is expected to improve processes for collaborative mental healthcare in oncology and accelerate the digitalization of services, towards the improvement of mental healthcare access, and management of high-risk patients, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Erratum
Erratum: Lasheras, I.; et al. Prevalence of Anxiety in Medical Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6603
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249353 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
The source of funding was not included in our original article [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Brief Report
Psychological Impact of Corona Lockdown in Germany: Changes in Need Satisfaction, Well-Being, Anxiety, and Depression
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239083 - 05 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
All over the world; measures have been implemented to contain the novel Sars-CoV-2 virus since its outbreak in the beginning of 2020. These measures—among which social distancing and contact restrictions were most prominent—may have an overall effect on people’s psychological well-being. The present [...] Read more.
All over the world; measures have been implemented to contain the novel Sars-CoV-2 virus since its outbreak in the beginning of 2020. These measures—among which social distancing and contact restrictions were most prominent—may have an overall effect on people’s psychological well-being. The present study seeks to examine whether lockdown measures affected people’s well-being; anxiety; depressive symptoms during the lockdown and whether these effects could be explained by reduced satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of autonomy and relatedness. N = 1086 participants of different ages and educational levels from all over Germany reported strong declines in autonomy and well-being; small declines in relatedness satisfaction; moderate increases in anxiety and depressive symptoms. These effects were stronger for people with moderate to bad subjective overall health. Latent change modeling revealed that, especially, decreases in autonomy satisfaction led to stronger decreases in well-being as well as stronger increases in anxiety and depressive symptoms; whereas decreases in relatedness had much weaker effects. Our results imply differential effects depending on individual preconditions; but also more generally that peoples’ need for autonomy was most strongly affected by the lockdown measures, which should be considered as important information in planning future lockdowns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Brief Report
A 2-Month Follow-Up Study of Psychological Distress among Italian People during the COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218180 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has called for unprecedented measures, including a national lockdown in Italy. The present study aimed at identifying psychological changes (e.g., changes in depression, stress, and anxiety levels) among the Italian public during the lockdown period, in [...] Read more.
The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has called for unprecedented measures, including a national lockdown in Italy. The present study aimed at identifying psychological changes (e.g., changes in depression, stress, and anxiety levels) among the Italian public during the lockdown period, in addition to factors associated with these changes. An online follow-up survey was administered to 439 participants (original sample = 2766), between 28 April and 3 May 2020. A paired sample t-test tested for differences in stress, anxiety, and depression over the period. Multivariate regression models examined associations between sociodemographic variables, personality traits, coping strategies, depression, and stress. Results showed an increase in stress and depression over the lockdown, but not anxiety. Negative affect and detachment were associated with higher levels of depression and stress. Higher levels of depression at the start of the lockdown, as well as fewer coping strategies and childlessness, were associated with increased depression at follow-up, whereas higher levels of stress at the start of the lockdown and younger age were associated with higher stress at follow-up. These results may help us to identify persons at greater risk of suffering from psychological distress as a result lockdown conditions, and inform psychological interventions targeting post-traumatic symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Depression and Anxiety in Hong Kong during COVID-19
Authors: Edmond Pui Hang Choi; Bryant Pui Hung Hui; Eric Yuk Fai Wan
Affiliation: the University of Hong Kong
Abstract: It has been three months since the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, and people now have a more complete picture of the extent of the pandemic. Therefore, it is time to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health. The current population-based study aimed to evaluate the depression and anxiety of people in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents were randomly recruited and asked to complete a structured questionnaire, including the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), the generalized anxiety disorder-7 (GAD-7), the global rating of change scale and items related to COVID-19. Of the 500 respondents included in the study, 19% had depression (PHQ-9 score ≥10) and 14% had anxiety (GAD score ≥10). In addition, 25.4% reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the pandemic. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that not experiencing the SARS outbreak in 2003, being worried about being infected by COVID-19, being bothered by having not enough surgical masks and being bothered by not being able to work from home led to a poorer mental health status. Psychological support, such as brief, home-based psychological interventions, should be provided to citizens during the pandemic.

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