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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323265

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not only a threat to physical health but is also having severe impacts on mental health. While increases in stress-related symptomatology and other adverse psycho-social outcomes as well as their most important risk factors have been described, hardly anything is known about potential protective factors. Resilience refers to the maintenance of mental health despite adversity. In order to gain mechanistic insights about the relationship between described psycho-social resilience factors and resilience specifically in the current crisis, we assessed resilience factors, exposure to Corona crisis-specific and general stressors, as well as internalizing symptoms in a cross-sectional online survey conducted in 24 languages during the most intense phase of the lockdown in Europe (March 22nd to April 19th) in a convenience sample of N=15,970 adults. Resilience, as an outcome, was conceptualized as good mental health despite stressor exposure and measured as the inverse residual between actual and predicted symptom total score. Preregistered hypotheses (osf.io/r6btn) were tested with multiple regression models and mediation analyses. Results confirmed our primary hypothesis that positive appraisal style (PAS) is positively associated with resilience (p<0.0001). The resilience factor PAS also partly mediated the positive association between perceived social support and resilience, and its association with resilience was in turn partly mediated by the ability to easily recover from stress (both p<0.0001). In comparison with other resilience factors, good stress response recovery and positive appraisal specifically of the consequences of the Corona crisis were the strongest factors. Preregistered exploratory subgroup analyses (osf.io/thka9) showed that all tested resilience factors generalize across major socio-demographic categories. This research identifies modifiable protective factors that can be targeted by public mental health efforts in this and in future pandemics.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390609

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is posing a global public health burden. These consequences have been shown to increase the risk of mental distress, but the underlying protective and risk factors for mental distress and trends over different waves of the pandemic are largely unknown. Furthermore, it is largely unknown how mental distress is associated with individual protective behavior. Three quota samples, weighted to represent the population forming the German COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring study (24 March and 26 May 2020, and 9 March 2021 with >900 subjects each), were used to describe the course of mental distress and resilience, to identify risk and protective factors during the pandemic, and to investigate their associations with individual protective behaviors. Mental distress increased slightly during the pandemic. Usage of cognitive reappraisal strategies, maintenance of a daily structure, and usage of alternative social interactions decreased. Self-reported resilience, cognitive reappraisal strategies, and maintaining a daily structure were the most important protective factors in all three samples. Adherence to individual protective behaviors (e.g., physical distancing) was negatively associated with mental distress and positively associated with frequency of information intake, maintenance of a daily structure, and cognitive reappraisal. Maintaining a daily structure, training of cognitive reappraisal strategies, and information provision may be targets to prevent mental distress while assuring a high degree of individual protective behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effects of the respective interventions have to be confirmed in further studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Transl Psychiatry ; 11(1): 67, 2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387235

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not only a threat to physical health but is also having severe impacts on mental health. Although increases in stress-related symptomatology and other adverse psycho-social outcomes, as well as their most important risk factors have been described, hardly anything is known about potential protective factors. Resilience refers to the maintenance of mental health despite adversity. To gain mechanistic insights about the relationship between described psycho-social resilience factors and resilience specifically in the current crisis, we assessed resilience factors, exposure to Corona crisis-specific and general stressors, as well as internalizing symptoms in a cross-sectional online survey conducted in 24 languages during the most intense phase of the lockdown in Europe (22 March to 19 April) in a convenience sample of N = 15,970 adults. Resilience, as an outcome, was conceptualized as good mental health despite stressor exposure and measured as the inverse residual between actual and predicted symptom total score. Preregistered hypotheses (osf.io/r6btn) were tested with multiple regression models and mediation analyses. Results confirmed our primary hypothesis that positive appraisal style (PAS) is positively associated with resilience (p < 0.0001). The resilience factor PAS also partly mediated the positive association between perceived social support and resilience, and its association with resilience was in turn partly mediated by the ability to easily recover from stress (both p < 0.0001). In comparison with other resilience factors, good stress response recovery and positive appraisal specifically of the consequences of the Corona crisis were the strongest factors. Preregistered exploratory subgroup analyses (osf.io/thka9) showed that all tested resilience factors generalize across major socio-demographic categories. This research identifies modifiable protective factors that can be targeted by public mental health efforts in this and in future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health , Resilience, Psychological , Social Factors , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Europe , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Protective Factors , Regression Analysis , Social Support , Young Adult
4.
Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 118(10): 179-180, 2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243935
5.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0244748, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061038

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
6.
J Affect Disord ; 282: 381-385, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988223

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Psychological responses to potentially traumatic events tend to be heterogeneous, with some individuals displaying resilience. Longitudinal associations between resilience and mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to examine the association between resilience and trajectories of mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Participants were 6,008 adults from the Understanding America Study, a probability-based Internet-panel representative of the US adult population. Baseline data were collected between March 10 and March 31, 2020, with nine follow-up waves conducted between April 1 and August 4. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine the association between date and mental distress, stratified by resilience level (low, normal, or high). RESULTS: In contrast to the high resilience group, participants in the low and normal resilience groups experienced increases in mental distress in the early months of the pandemic (low: OR=2.94, 95% CI=1.93-4.46; normal: OR=1.91, 95% CI=1.55-2.35). Men, middle-aged and older adults, Black adults, and adults with a graduate degree were more likely to report high resilience, whereas adults living below the poverty line were less likely to report high resilience. LIMITATIONS: These associations should not be interpreted as causal, and resilience was measured at only one time-point. CONCLUSIONS: Trajectories of mental distress varied markedly by resilience level during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with low-resilience adults reporting the largest increases in mental distress during this crisis. Activities that foster resilience should be included in broader strategies to support mental health throughout the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Resilience, Psychological , Aged , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 117(38): 625-630, 2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-931014

ABSTRACT

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 (osf.io/34j8g). 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.


Subject(s)
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
8.
Gesundheitswesen ; 82(5): 389-391, 2020 May.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155364

ABSTRACT

AIM: The aim of the article is to point out the important role of prevention and reduction of mental stress in the general population and in sensitive groups in the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This article includes the analysis and evaluation of studies and recommendations from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) that have examined the psychological consequences of epidemics/pandemics on people and their impact on the further course. RESULTS: Fear-related behaviors can adversely affect the course of epidemics. Past outbreaks of infectious diseases (Ebola and Zika virus) have shown that maladaptive behavior, related to increased psychological stress and anxiety, can interfere with the implementation of treatment strategies and actions and can contribute to a further spread. Hereby, strategies for dealing with infectious diseases, that include the suppression of fear, can trigger a vicious circle in which fear and suppression mutually reinforce each other. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic poses an immense challenge to governments, health systems and people, with an uncertain outcome, which is associated with a significant burden of mental health in the population. In line with WHO recommendations, national guidelines and preventive measures should include the psychological consequences, the acceptance and normalization of fears and the promotion of resilience in the population in dealing with COVID-19 in order to counteract a further spread.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Germany , Humans , Mental Health , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Zika Virus , Zika Virus Infection
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