1 in 3 adults anxious, depressed
COVID-19[female[feminine led to psychological distress in one in three adults, reveals a large-scale meta-analysis.
One in three adults, especially women, young adults and those of lower socioeconomic status, suffer from psychological distress from COVID-19, researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore have reported. PLOS ONE.
COVID-19 continues to pose serious threats to public health around the world, and interventions such as containment, quarantine and social distancing are negatively impacting the mental well-being of populations. The pandemic has increased the burden of psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and insomnia. However, the factors associated with an increased susceptibility to psychological distress in adults in the general population during COVID-19 are not yet well understood.
“Understanding these factors is crucial for the design of prevention programs and mental health resource planning during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 epidemic,” explained Professor Tazeen Jafar, of the Services Research Program. and health systems from Duke-NUS, which led the study. “These factors could be used to identify populations at high risk for psychological distress so that they can be offered targeted interventions remotely and in person.”
Professor Jafar and his team performed a meta-analysis of 68 studies conducted during the pandemic, involving 288,830 participants from 19 countries, to assess risk factors associated with anxiety and depression in the general population. They found that among those most affected by anxiety or depression related to COVID-19, women, young adults, people of lower socioeconomic status, those living in rural areas and those with high risk of COVID-19 infection were more likely to experience psychological distress.
The finding that women were more likely to experience psychological distress than men is consistent with other global studies which have found that anxiety and depression are more common in women. “The lower social status of women and less preferential access to health care compared to men could potentially be responsible for the exaggerated negative psychosocial impact on women,” the researchers suggested. “So awareness programs for mental health services need to proactively target women. “
Young adults, aged 35 and under, were more likely to experience psychological distress than those over 35. While the reasons for this are unclear, previous studies have suggested that it may be due to the improved access of young people to COVID-19 information. through the media. This current study also confirmed that longer media exposure was associated with higher risks for anxiety and depression.
Other factors associated with psychological distress included living in a rural setting; lower education, lower income or unemployment; and being at high risk for COVID-19 infection. However, stronger family and social support and the use of positive coping strategies have been shown to reduce the risk of psychological distress.
“The general public and healthcare professionals need to be aware of the heavy burden of psychological distress during the pandemic as well as education on coping strategies,” said Professor Jafar. “Patients should be encouraged to seek help and access mental health counseling services with appropriate referrals. “
Professor Patrick Casey, Senior Associate Dean, Research at Duke-NUS, commented: “Even with the tremendous progress on the vaccine front, the world has realized that the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us on the long term. Professor Jafar’s study provides valuable insight into the psychological toll of the pandemic on populations around the world and highlights specific groups that may benefit from additional support, whether they are their families or their families. ‘a health care provider. “
Reference: “Factors associated with psychological distress during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the predominantly general population: systematic review and meta-analysis” by Yeli Wang, Monica Palanichamy Kala and Tazeen H. Jafar, December 28, 2020, Plos A.
DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0244630