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Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 119(11): 179-187, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879446


BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have reported an increase in mental disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the exact reasons for this development are not well understood. In this study we investigate whether pandemic-related occupational and financial changes (e.g., reduced working hours, working from home, financial losses) were associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with the situation before the pandemic. METHODS: We analyzed data from the German National Cohort (NAKO) Study. Between May and November 2020, 161 849 study participants answered questions on their mental state and social circumstances. Their responses were compared with data from the baseline survey before the pandemic (2014-2019). Linear fixed-effects models were used to determine whether individual changes in the severity of symptoms of depression (PHQ-9) or anxiety (GAD-7) were associated with occupational/ financial changes (controlling for various covariates). RESULTS: The prevalence of moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety increased by 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively, during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the preceding years. The mean severity of the symptoms rose slightly. A pronounced increase in symptoms was observed among those who became unemployed during the pandemic (+ 1.16 points on the depression scale, 95% confidence interval [0.91; 1.41], range 0-27). Increases were also seen for reduced working hours with no short-time allowance, increased working hours, working from home, insecurity regarding employment, and financial strain. The deterioration in mental health was largely statistically explained by the occupational and financial changes investigated in the model. CONCLUSION: Depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders increased slightly in the study population during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupational and financial difficulties were an essential contributory factor. These strains should be taken into account both in the care of individual patients and in the planning of targeted prevention measures.

COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 591, 2022 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808355


BACKGROUND: Workplace-related stress is a major risk factor for mental and physical health problems and related sickness absence and productivity loss. Despite evidence regarding the effectiveness of different workplace-based interventions, the implementation of stress prevention interventions is rare, especially in micro and small-sized enterprises (MSE) with fewer than 50 employees. The joint research project "PragmatiKK"+ aims to identify and address the specific barriers to the implementation of stress prevention interventions in MSE. This study protocol describes a mixed method study design to evaluate the effectiveness of adapted stress prevention interventions and the implementation process via an integrated web-based platform ("System P") specifically targeted at MSE. METHODS: First, we develop a web-based intervention, which accounts for the specific working conditions in MSE and addresses stress prevention at a structural and behavioral level. Second, we use common methods of implementation research to perform an effect and process evaluation. We analyze the effectiveness of the web-based stress prevention interventions by comparing depressive symptoms at baseline and follow-up (after 6 months and 12 months). Indicators for a successful implementation process include acceptability, adoption, feasibility, reach, dose, and fidelity, which we will measure with quantitative web-based questionnaires and qualitative interviews. We will also analyze the accumulated usage data from the web-based platform. DISCUSSION: Collecting data on the implementation process and the effectiveness of a web-based intervention will help to identify and overcome common barriers to stress prevention in MSE. This can improve the mental health of employees in MSE, which constitute more than 90% of all enterprises in Germany. + Full Project Name: "PragmatiKK - Pragmatische Lösungen für die Implementation von Maßnahmen zur Stressprävention in Kleinst- und Kleinbetrieben "(= Pragmatic solutions for the implementation of stress prevention interventions in micro and small-sized enterprises). TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Register of Clinical Studies (DRKS): DRKS00026154 , date of registration: 2021-09-16.

Internet-Based Intervention , Occupational Stress , Humans , Occupational Stress/prevention & control , Research Design , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workplace
Stroke ; 52(2): 735-747, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060987


The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents a severe, life-changing event for people across the world. Life changes may involve job loss, income reduction due to furlough, death of a beloved one, or social stress due to life habit changes. Many people suffer from social isolation due to lockdown or physical distancing, especially those living alone and without family. This article reviews the association of life events and social isolation with cardiovascular disease, assembling the current state of knowledge for stroke and coronary heart disease. Possible mechanisms underlying the links between life events, social isolation, and cardiovascular disease are outlined. Furthermore, groups with increased vulnerability for cardiovascular disease following life events and social isolation are identified, and clinical implications of results are presented.

COVID-19/psychology , Coronary Disease/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Isolation/psychology , Stroke/psychology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronary Disease/virology , Humans