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PLoS One ; 16(2): e0244748, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061038


BACKGROUND: Acute disease outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic cause a high burden of psychological distress in people worldwide. Interventions to enable people to better cope with such distress should be based on the best available evidence. We therefore performed a scoping review to systematically identify and summarize the available literature of interventions that target the distress of people in the face of highly contagious disease outbreaks. METHODS: MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL, Web of Science (January 2000 to May 7, 2020), and reference lists were systematically searched and screened by two independent reviewers. Quantitative and qualitative studies investigating the effects of psychological interventions before, during, and after outbreaks of highly contagious emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, or COVID-19 were included. Study effects were grouped (e.g. for healthcare professionals, community members, people at risk) and intervention contents at the individual and organizational level summarized. We assessed the level of evidence using a modified scheme from the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. RESULTS: Of 4030 records found, 19 studies were included (two RCTs). Most interventions were delivered during-exposure and face-to-face, focused on healthcare workers and crisis personnel, and combined psychoeducation with training of coping strategies. Based on two high-quality studies, beneficial effects were reported for resilience factors (e.g. positive cognitive appraisal) and professional attitudes of healthcare workers, with mixed findings for mental health (e.g. depression). Across all studies, there was positive qualitative feedback from participants and facilitators. We identified seven ongoing studies mostly using online- and mobile-based deliveries. CONCLUSIONS: There is preliminary evidence for beneficial effects of interventions to enable people to better cope with the distress of highly contagious emerging disease outbreaks. Besides the need for more high-quality studies, the summarized evidence may inform decision makers to plan interventions during the current pandemic and to develop pandemic preparedness plans.

COVID-19/pathology , Mental Health , Psychosocial Support Systems , Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Resilience, Psychological , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 117(38): 625-630, 2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-931014


BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused mental stress in a number of ways: overstrain of the health care system, lockdown of the economy, restricted opportunities for interpersonal contact and excursions outside the home and workplace, and quarantine measures where necessary. In this article, we provide an overview of psychological distress in the current pandemic, identifying protective factors and risk factors. METHODS: The PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched for relevant publications (1 January 2019 - 16 April 2020). This study was registered in OSF Registries ( Data on mental stress and resilience in Germany were obtained from three surveys carried out on more than 1000 participants each in the framework of the COSMO study (24 March, 31 March, and 21 April 2020). RESULTS: 18 studies from China and India, with a total of 79 664 participants, revealed increased stress in the general population, with manifestations of depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and sleep disturbances. Stress was more marked among persons working in the health care sector. Risk factors for stress included patient contact, female sex, impaired health status, worry about family members and significant others, and poor sleep quality. Protective factors included being informed about the increasing number of persons who have recovered from COVID, social support, and a lower perceived infectious risk. The COSMO study, though based on an insufficiently representative population sample because of a low questionnaire return rate (<20%), revealed increased rates of despondency, loneliness, and hopelessness in the German population as compared to norm data, with no change in estimated resilience. CONCLUSION: Stress factors associated with the current pandemic probably increase stress by causing anxiety and depression. Once the protective factors and risk factors have been identified, these can be used to develop psychosocial interventions. The informativeness of the results reported here is limited by the wide variety of instruments used to acquire data and by the insufficiently representative nature of the population samples.

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Resilience, Psychological , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Protective Factors , Risk Factors