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1.
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality ; : No Pagination Specified, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1839499

ABSTRACT

Physical and existential threats stemming from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may provoke religious/spiritual (R/S) struggles or exacerbate preexisting angst and questions. In the Global South, where pervasive social-structural disadvantages limit resource availability to mitigate psychosocial consequences, doubts about divine presence and purpose amidst suffering, loss, and uncertainty may be especially salient factors in spiritual and mental health. With two independent samples of Colombians and South Africans recruited during an early phase of lockdown in each country, the current set of studies (N Study 1 = 1,172;N Study 2 = 451) examined positive religious coping (Study 1) and state hope (Study 2) as potential resources that may support the mental health of people living in the Global South who experienced R/S struggles during the public health crisis. Results of hierarchical regression analyses across both studies revealed that R/S struggles were positively associated with depression. In Study 1, there was a two-way interaction between R/S struggles and positive religious coping, such that the relation between R/S struggles and depression was attenuated when positive religious coping was higher for both men and women. In Study 2, a three-way interaction emerged among R/S struggles, state hope, and gender;R/S struggles were associated with higher levels of depression when state hope was low in women and when state hope was high in men. We discuss the implications of these findings for promoting psychological and spiritual well-being in low- and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

2.
Front Psychol ; 13: 805785, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809578

ABSTRACT

This study explored the extent to which perceived changes in religiosity from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with flourishing. Participants from a diverse set of faith communities in two United States metropolitan regions (N = 1,480) completed an online survey between October and December 2020. The survey included items capturing perceived changes in four dimensions of religiosity (i.e., importance of religion, frequency of prayer, frequency of religious service attendance, and sense of connectedness to one's faith community) and a multidimensional measure of flourishing. Based on multilevel regressions, results indicated that self-reported decreases in each dimension of religiosity were associated with lower overall flourishing. This pattern of findings was largely similar for the domains of flourishing, with some variation in the strength of associations that emerged. An increase in frequency of religious service attendance was associated with lower overall flourishing and lower scores on selected domains of flourishing (e.g., mental and physical health), indicating possible evidence of religious coping. Faith communities might have to find ways of supporting members during the challenging COVID-19 period to prevent long-term declines in flourishing.

3.
JMIR Ment Health ; 9(4): e34002, 2022 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779874

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health and social care staff are at high risk of experiencing adverse mental health (MH) outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, there is a need to prioritize and identify ways to effectively support their psychological well-being (PWB). Compared to traditional psychological interventions, digital psychological interventions are cost-effective treatment options that allow for large-scale dissemination and transcend social distancing, overcome rurality, and minimize clinician time. OBJECTIVE: This study reports MH outcomes of a Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)-compliant parallel-arm pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) examining the potential usefulness of an existing and a novel digital psychological intervention aimed at supporting psychological health among National Health Service (NHS) staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: NHS Highland (NHSH) frontline staff volunteers (N=169) were randomly assigned to the newly developed NHSH Staff Wellbeing Project (NHSWBP), an established digital intervention (My Possible Self [MPS]), or a waitlist (WL) group for 4 weeks. Attempts were made to blind participants to which digital intervention they were allocated. The interventions were fully automated, without any human input or guidance. We measured 5 self-reported psychological outcomes over 3 time points: before (baseline), in the middle of (after 2 weeks), and after treatment (4 weeks). The primary outcomes were anxiety (7-item General Anxiety Disorder), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), and mental well-being (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale). The secondary outcomes included mental toughness (Mental Toughness Index) and gratitude (Gratitude Questionnaire-6). RESULTS: Retention rates mid- and postintervention were 77% (n=130) and 63.3% (n=107), respectively. Postintervention, small differences were noted between the WL and the 2 treatment groups on anxiety (vs MPS: Cohen d=0.07, 95% CI -0.20 to 0.33; vs NHSWBP: Cohen d=0.06, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.31), depression (vs MPS: Cohen d=0.37, 95% CI 0.07-0.66; vs NHSWBP: Cohen d=0.18, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.46), and mental well-being (vs MPS: Cohen d=-0.04, 95% CI -0.62 to -0.08; vs NHSWBP: Cohen d=-0.15, 95% CI -0.41 to 0.10). A similar pattern of between-group differences was found for the secondary outcomes. The NHSWBP group generally had larger within-group effects than the other groups and displayed a greater rate of change compared to the other groups on all outcomes, except for gratitude, where the rate of change was greatest for the MPS group. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses provided encouraging results for the use of brief digital psychological interventions in improving PWB among health and social care workers. Future multisite RCTs, with power to reliably detect differences, are needed to determine the efficacy of contextualized interventions relative to existing digital treatments. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Registry (ISRCTN) ISRCTN18107122; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN18107122.

4.
J Psychiatr Res ; 150: 237-245, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768361

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We examined the associations of lockdown stringency and duration with Google searches for four mental health concepts (i.e., "Anxiety," "Depression," "Suicide," "Mental Health") in nine countries (i.e., Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Paraguay, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey) during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We retrieved national-level data for each country from Google Trends and the Global Panel Database of Pandemic Policies. In our primary analysis, we used data from all countries to estimate a set of multilevel regression models examining associations of overall lockdown stringency and lockdown duration with relative search volumes for each mental health term. We repeated the models after replacing overall lockdown stringency with each of the lockdown stringency components. RESULTS: A negative association was found between overall lockdown stringency and "Depression." Lockdown duration and the most stringent stay-at-home requirements were negatively associated with "Anxiety." Policies that recommended or required the cancelation of public events evidenced negative associations with "Depression," whereas associations between policies that required some or all levels of schooling to close and "Depression" were positive. Policies that recommended or required workplaces to close and those that enforced quarantines on non-citizens arriving from high-risk regions or closed borders entirely were negatively associated with "Suicide." CONCLUSIONS: Lockdown duration and some lockdown policies during the COVID-19 pandemic were generally associated with significantly lower, rather than higher, Google searches for selected mental health terms. These findings could be used alongside other evidence to develop future lockdown strategies that are sensitive to mental health issues during public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Search Engine
5.
Current psychology (New Brunswick, N.J.) ; : 1-10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1743588

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom (UK) government introduced public health safety measures to mitigate the spikes in infection rates. This included stay-at-home orders that prevented people from leaving their homes for work or study, except for urgent medical care or buying essential items. This practice could have both short and long-term implications for health and wellbeing of people in the UK. Using longitudinal data of 10,630 UK adults, this study prospectively examined the association between home confinement status during the stringent lockdown in the UK (March 23-May 13, 2020) and 20 indicators of subjective well-being, social well-being, pro-social/altruistic behaviors, psychological distress, and health behaviors assessed approximately one month after the stringent lockdown ended. All analyses adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics and social isolation status in the beginning of the pandemic. Home confinement during the lockdown was associated with greater subsequent compliance with COVID-19 rules, more perceived major stressors, and a lower prevalence of physical activity. There was modest evidence of associations with lower life satisfaction, greater loneliness, greater depressive symptoms, greater anxiety symptoms, and more perceived minor stressors post-lockdown. However, there was little evidence that home confinement was associated with other indices of subsequent health and well-being. While our study shows that home confinement impacts some indices of subsequent health and wellbeing outcomes even after lockdown, the degree of the psychological adaptation to the difficult confinement behavior remains unclear and should be further studied. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-022-03001-5.

6.
Journal of Psychology and Christianity ; 39(4):276-287, 2020.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1716925

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has plagued the world, bringing everyday activities to a standstill. Many people are wrestling with the impact of the public health crisis on the connections they have with their environment (e.g., neighborhoods, cities), specific places (e.g., workplaces, places of worship), and people (e.g., loved ones, faith community) that are part of their daily lives. In this paper, we introduce the phenomenon of place attachment disruption as a common challenge for people who have been disconnected from their environment since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. We conceptualize place as a relational object and argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the attachment that people have with the physical elements of their environment, the lifeforms of the environment, and to some extent the "soul" of their cities. We then consider defensive responses that may be triggered by disruptions to place attachment during the public health crisis, including the emergence of spiritual/ religious struggles. The experience of place attachment disruption is discussed as an opportunity to transcend place-related COVID-19 loss by detaching from "what no longer serves us" in a way that builds resilience. We conclude by highlighting some practical approaches that could facilitate psychospiritual transformation (e.g., meaning-making) to disrupted place attachment during the public health crisis, as well as those that could support the formation of new (or renewed) connections to place in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

7.
Psychol Med ; : 1-10, 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701116

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In-person religious service attendance has been linked to favorable health and well-being outcomes. However, little research has examined whether online religious participation improves these outcomes, especially when in-person attendance is suspended. METHODS: Using longitudinal data of 8951 UK adults, this study prospectively examined the association between frequency of online religious participation during the stringent lockdown in the UK (23 March -13 May 2020) and 21 indicators of psychological well-being, social well-being, pro-social/altruistic behaviors, psychological distress, and health behaviors. All analyses adjusted for baseline socio-demographic characteristics, pre-pandemic in-person religious service attendance, and prior values of the outcome variables whenever data were available. Bonferroni correction was used to correct for multiple testing. RESULTS: Individuals with online religious participation of ≥1/week (v. those with no participation at all) during the lockdown had a lower prevalence of thoughts of self-harm in week 20 (odds ratio 0.24; 95% CI 0.09-0.62). Online religious participation of <1/week (v. no participation) was associated with higher life satisfaction (standardized ß = 0.25; 0.11-0.39) and happiness (standardized ß = 0.25; 0.08-0.42). However, there was little evidence for the associations between online religious participation and all other outcomes (e.g. depressive symptoms and anxiety). CONCLUSIONS: There was evidence that online religious participation during the lockdown was associated with some subsequent health and well-being outcomes. Future studies should examine mechanisms underlying the inconsistent results for online v. in-person religious service attendance and also use data from non-pandemic situations.

8.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(2)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685570

ABSTRACT

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global public health crisis that continues to have a major impact on the African continent. Most countries within Africa are facing significant challenges vaccinating their populations for COVID-19. Inadequate COVID-19 vaccine supply, weaknesses in health system infrastructure, COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation, and ineffective health risk communication are contributing to low adult vaccination rates on the continent. Without sufficient COVID-19 vaccine coverage on the African continent, the prolonged social, economic and health impacts of this public health crisis are likely to exacerbate pre-existing social-structural issues in this part of the world. In this paper, we highlight trends in SARS-CoV-2 infections among children and adolescents (CA), compare COVID-19 vaccination patterns in Africa to those in high-income countries, and discuss some of the benefits, challenges and unknowns associated with vaccinating CA for COVID-19. In light of ongoing COVID-19 vaccine supply challenges and the slow progress that the African continent is making towards vaccinating the adult population, we suggest that the immediate priority for Africa is to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations among adults (particularly high-risk populations) and vulnerable CA (ie, those who are immunocompromised and/or living with certain medical conditions). Accelerating the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and rapidly achieving high levels of vaccination coverage in the adult population will free up capacity to vaccinate CA sooner rather than later. While we hope that COVID-19 vaccines will soon become available to CA throughout Africa, countries must continue to prioritise non-pharmaceutical interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Africa/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Psychol Assess ; 34(3): 294-310, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637377

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been a source of fear around the world. We asked whether the measurement of this fear is trustworthy and comparable across countries. In particular, we explored the measurement invariance and cross-cultural replicability of the widely used Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S), testing community samples from 48 countries (N = 14,558). The findings indicate that the FCV-19S has a somewhat problematic structure, yet the one-factor solution is replicable across cultural contexts and could be used in studies that compare people who vary on gender and educational level. The validity of the scale is supported by a consistent pattern of positive correlations with perceived stress and general anxiety. However, given the unclear structure of the FCV-19S, we recommend using latent factor scores, instead of raw scores, especially in cross-cultural comparisons. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fear , Humans , Psychometrics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2022 Jan 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1629386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Over the last 30 years, South Africa has experienced four 'colliding epidemics' of HIV and tuberculosis, chronic illness and mental health, injury and violence, and maternal, neonatal, and child mortality, which have had substantial effects on health and well-being. Using data from the 2019 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study (GBD 2019), we evaluated national and provincial health trends and progress towards important Sustainable Development Goal targets from 1990 to 2019. METHODS: We analysed GBD 2019 estimates of mortality, non-fatal health loss, summary health measures and risk factor burden, comparing trends over 1990-2007 and 2007-2019. Additionally, we decomposed changes in life expectancy by cause of death and assessed healthcare system performance. RESULTS: Across the nine provinces, inequalities in mortality and life expectancy increased over 1990-2007, largely due to differences in HIV/AIDS, then decreased over 2007-2019. Demographic change and increases in non-communicable diseases nearly doubled the number of years lived with disability between 1990 and 2019. From 1990 to 2019, risk factor burdens generally shifted from communicable and nutritional disease risks to non-communicable disease and injury risks; unsafe sex remained the top risk factor. Despite widespread improvements in healthcare system performance, the greatest gains were generally in economically advantaged provinces. CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in HIV/AIDS and related conditions have led to improved health since 2007, though most provinces still lag in key areas. To achieve health targets, provincial governments should enhance health investments and exchange of knowledge, resources and best practices alongside populations that have been left behind, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.

11.
BJPsych Open ; 8(1): e23, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613268

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health and social care workers (HSCWs) are at risk of experiencing adverse mental health outcomes (e.g. higher levels of anxiety and depression) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can have a detrimental effect on quality of care, the national response to the pandemic and its aftermath. AIMS: A longitudinal design provided follow-up evidence on the mental health (changes in prevalence of disease over time) of NHS staff working at a remote health board in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic, and investigated the determinants of mental health outcomes over time. METHOD: A two-wave longitudinal study was conducted from July to September 2020. Participants self-reported levels of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7) and mental well-being (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale) at baseline and 1.5 months later. RESULTS: The analytic sample of 169 participants, working in community (43%) and hospital (44%) settings, reported substantial levels of depression and anxiety, and low mental well-being at baseline (depression, 30.8%; anxiety, 20.1%; well-being, 31.9%). Although mental health remained mostly constant over time, the proportion of participants meeting the threshold for anxiety increased to 27.2% at follow-up. Multivariable modelling indicated that working with, and disruption because of, COVID-19 were associated with adverse mental health changes over time. CONCLUSIONS: HSCWs working in a remote area with low COVID-19 prevalence reported substantial levels of anxiety and depression, similar to those working in areas with high COVID-19 prevalence. Efforts to support HSCW mental health must remain a priority, and should minimise the adverse effects of working with, and disruption caused by, the COVID-19 pandemic.

13.
Health Psychol ; 40(6): 347-356, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331370

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This prospective longitudinal study examined whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to changes in psychological and spiritual outcomes among adults with chronic disease. METHOD: Participants (N = 302) were a stratified, nonrandom sample of adults (Mage = 64.46, SD = 10.86, 45.7% female). The sample was representative of the chronically ill, U.S. adult population in gender, race/ethnicity, region, and religious affiliation but older in age and higher in socioeconomic status. Participants completed online-administered measures 1 month before the March 11 pandemic declaration (T1) and then 1 and 3 months after it (T2 and T3). At T1 through T3, they completed measures of depression, anxiety, personal suffering, psychological well-being, trait resilience, optimism, hope, grit, spiritual struggles, spiritual fortitude, and positive religious coping. At T2 and T3, they also completed measures of social support, physical health, resource loss, perceived stress, and COVID-19 fears and exposure. RESULTS: Overall, people did not change substantially in psychological or spiritual outcomes over time. However, trait resilience increased and personal suffering declined. People highest in prepandemic suffering increased in spiritual fortitude. Racial/ethnic minorities increased in religious importance. Roughly half (48.9%) of participants exhibited psychological resilience (no/minimal depression or anxiety symptoms) at both T2 and T3. Perceived stress and psychological resource loss were associated with adverse mental health outcomes, but social support and physical health were not. COVID-19 fears contributed more to mental health than COVID-19 exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Even among vulnerable populations such as adults with chronic disease, during pandemic conditions like COVID-19, many people may exhibit-or even increase slightly in-psychological and spiritual resilience. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Disease , Pandemics , Religion and Psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Chronic Disease/psychology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Resilience, Psychological , Spirituality , United States/epidemiology
14.
Wellbeing Space Soc ; 2: 100048, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313493

ABSTRACT

Suffering has been a topic of considerable discussion in the fields of medicine and palliative care, yet few studies have reported causal evidence linking the experience of suffering to health and well-being. In this three-wave prospective cohort study, we explore the potential psychological implications of suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic by examining relations among suffering, mental health, and psychological well-being in a sample of U.S. adults living with chronic health conditions. We analyzed data from n = 184 participants who completed assessments one month before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (February 2020) and then two months (April 2020) and four months later (May/June 2020). Analyses controlled for a range of factors, including sociodemographic characteristics, physical health, religious/spiritual factors, psychological characteristics, and prior values of the predictor and each of the outcomes assessed one month before the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of the primary analysis indicated that greater overall suffering assessed one month into the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with lower psychological well-being (ß = -.17, 95% CI: -.29, -.05) and higher levels of anxiety (ß = .27, 95% CI: .13, .41) and depression (ß = .16, 95% CI: .03, .29) two months later. In a secondary analysis that explored anxiety, depression, and psychological well-being as candidate antecedents of suffering, depression assessed one month into the COVID-19 pandemic was most strongly associated with worse overall suffering two months later. We highlight the implications of the findings for high-risk populations who are suffering amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Potential benefits of both integrating assessments of suffering into screening procedures and addressing experiences of suffering in mental health service settings are discussed.

15.
Journal of Psychology and Christianity ; 39(4):276-287, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1172157

ABSTRACT

Many people are wrestling with the impact of the public health crisis on the connections they have with their environment (e.g., neighborhoods, cities), specific places (e.g., workplaces, places of worship), and people (e.g., loved ones, faith community) that are part of their daily lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a notable impact on people, communities, economies, and public health systems around the world, including local and global economic slowdowns due to job and financial insecurity (Bartik et al., 2020), a surge in mental health problems (Chakraborty, 2020), and problems associated with place confinement (Husky et al., 2020). From the standpoint of environmental psychology, such conceptualizations of the self are limited because they focus narrowly on "individual, interpersonal, and social group processes as the basis for the development of self-identity" and neglect "the influence of the physical settings that are inherently part of any socialization context on self-identity" (Proshansky et al., 1983, p. 58). [...]the cognitive (or process) domain describes how place facilitates identity development and continuity.

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