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1.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293948

ABSTRACT

Background: There is growing global concern about the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on population mental health. We examine changes in adult mental health in the UK population before and during the lockdown. <br><br>Methods: Secondary analysis of the UK Household Longitudinal Study Waves 6 (2014/15) to 9 (2018/19), matched to the Covid-19 web-survey completed by 17,452 panel members 23-29 April 2020. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Repeated cross-sectional analyses were conducted to examine annual temporal trends. Fixed effects regression models were fitted to identify within-person change compared to preceding trends. <br><br>Findings: Mean population GHQ-12 score increased from 11·5 (95% confidence interval: 11·3–11·6) in 2018/19 to 12·6 (12·5–12·8) in April 2020, one month into lockdown. This was 0·48 (0·07-0·90) points higher than expected when accounting for prior upward trends between 2013 and 2019. Comparing scores within-individuals, adjusting for time-trends and predictors, increases were greatest in 18-24-year-olds (2·7, 1·89-3·48), 25-34-year-olds (1·6, 0·96-2·18), women (0·9, 0·50-1·35), and people living with young children (1·45, 0·79-2·12). People employed before the pandemic averaged a notable increase (0·6;0·20-1·06). <br><br>Interpretation: In late April 2020, mental health in the UK deteriorated compared to trends pre-Covid, particularly in young people, women and those living with young children. Those in employment before the pandemic also experienced greater deterioration one month into lockdown, perhaps due to actual or anticipated redundancy. While deterioration occurred across income groups, we anticipate inequalities may widen over time, as in other causes of recessions.<br><br>Funding Statement: This study was unfunded.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests. <br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: The data used are publicly available via UK Data Service repository (study numbers 6614 and 8644), and do not require ethical assessment for academic research purposes.

2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2134803, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516698

ABSTRACT

Importance: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with fatigue and sleep problems long after the acute phase of COVID-19. In addition, there are concerns of SARS-CoV-2 infection causing psychiatric illness; however, evidence of a direct effect is inconclusive. Objective: To assess risk of risk of incident or repeat psychiatric illness, fatigue, or sleep problems following SARS-CoV-2 infection and to analyze changes according to demographic subgroups. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study assembled matched cohorts using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum, a UK primary care registry of 11 923 499 individuals aged 16 years or older. Patients were followed-up for up to 10 months, from February 1 to December 9, 2020. Individuals with less than 2 years of historical data or less than 1 week follow-up were excluded. Individuals with positive results on a SARS-CoV-2 test without prior mental illness or with anxiety or depression, psychosis, fatigue, or sleep problems were matched with up to 4 controls based on sex, general practice, and year of birth. Controls were individuals who had negative SARS-CoV-2 test results. Data were analyzed from January to July 2021. Exposure: SARS-CoV-2 infection, determined via polymerase chain reaction testing. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cox proportional hazard models estimated the association between a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and subsequent psychiatric morbidity (depression, anxiety, psychosis, or self-harm), sleep problems, fatigue, or psychotropic prescribing. Models adjusted for comorbidities, ethnicity, smoking, and body mass index. Results: Of 11 923 105 eligible individuals (6 011 020 [50.4%] women and 5 912 085 [49.6%] men; median [IQR] age, 44 [30-61] years), 232 780 individuals (2.0%) had positive result on a SARS-CoV-2 test. After applying selection criteria, 86 922 individuals were in the matched cohort without prior mental illness, 19 020 individuals had prior anxiety or depression, 1036 individuals had psychosis, 4152 individuals had fatigue, and 4539 individuals had sleep problems. After adjusting for observed confounders, there was an association between positive SARS-CoV-2 test results and psychiatric morbidity (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.66-2.02), fatigue (aHR, 5.98; 95% CI, 5.33-6.71), and sleep problems (aHR, 3.16; 95% CI, 2.64-3.78). However, there was a similar risk of incident psychiatric morbidity for those with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test results (aHR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.65-1.77) and a larger increase associated with influenza (aHR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.55-5.75). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of individuals registered at an English primary care practice during the pandemic, there was consistent evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased risk of fatigue and sleep problems. However, the results from the negative control analysis suggest that unobserved confounding may be responsible for at least some of the positive association between COVID-19 and psychiatric morbidity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/etiology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use , Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology , Sleep , Adult , Anxiety/drug therapy , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Depression/drug therapy , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , England/epidemiology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Primary Health Care , Psychotic Disorders/drug therapy , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/etiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology
3.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 610-619, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219821

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mental health of the UK population declined at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenience sample surveys indicate that recovery began soon after. Using a probability sample, we tracked mental health during the pandemic to characterise mental health trajectories and identify predictors of deterioration. METHODS: This study was a secondary analysis of five waves of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (a large, national, probability-based survey that has been collecting data continuously since January, 2009) from late April to early October, 2020 and pre-pandemic data taken from 2018-19. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). We used latent class mixed models to identify discrete mental health trajectories and fixed-effects regression to identify predictors of change in mental health. FINDINGS: Mental health was assessed in 19 763 adults (≥16 years; 11 477 [58·1%] women and 8287 [41·9%] men; 3453 [17·5%] participants from minority ethnic groups). Mean population mental health deteriorated with the onset of the pandemic and did not begin improving until July, 2020. Latent class analysis identified five distinct mental health trajectories up to October 2020. Most individuals in the population had either consistently good (7437 [39·3%] participants) or consistently very good (7623 [37·5%] participants) mental health across the first 6 months of the pandemic. A recovering group (1727 [12·0%] participants) showed worsened mental health during the initial shock of the pandemic and then returned to around pre-pandemic levels of mental health by October, 2020. The two remaining groups were characterised by poor mental health throughout the observation period; for one group, (523 [4·1%] participants) there was an initial worsening in mental health that was sustained with highly elevated scores. The other group (1011 [7·0%] participants) had little initial acute deterioration in their mental health, but reported a steady and sustained decline in mental health over time. These last two groups were more likely to have pre-existing mental or physical ill-health, to live in deprived neighbourhoods, and be of Asian, Black or mixed ethnicity. Infection with SARS-CoV-2, local lockdown, and financial difficulties all predicted a subsequent deterioration in mental health. INTERPRETATION: Between April and October 2020, the mental health of most UK adults remained resilient or returned to pre-pandemic levels. Around one in nine individuals had deteriorating or consistently poor mental health. People living in areas affected by lockdown, struggling financially, with pre-existing conditions, or infection with SARS-CoV-2 might benefit most from early intervention. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Models, Statistical , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(2): e124-e135, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118741

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected population mental health. We aimed to assess temporal trends in primary care-recorded common mental illness, episodes of self-harm, psychotropic medication prescribing, and general practitioner (GP) referrals to mental health services during the COVID-19 emergency in the UK. METHODS: We did a population-based cohort study using primary care electronic health records from general practices registered on the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). We included patient records from Jan 1, 2010, to Sept 10, 2020, to establish long-term trends and patterns of seasonality, but focused primarily on the period January, 2019-September, 2020. We extracted data on clinical codes entered into patient records to estimate the incidence of depression and anxiety disorders, self-harm, prescriptions for antidepressants and benzodiazepines, and GP referrals to mental health services, and assessed event rates of all psychotropic prescriptions and self-harm. We used mean-dispersion negative binomial regression models to predict expected monthly incidence and overall event rates, which were then compared with observed rates to assess the percentage reduction in incidence and event rates after March, 2020. We also stratified analyses by sex, age group, and practice-level Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles. FINDINGS: We identified 14 210 507 patients from 1697 UK general practices registered in the CPRD databases. In April, 2020, compared with expected rates, the incidence of primary care-recorded depression had reduced by 43·0% (95% CI 38·3-47·4), anxiety disorders by 47·8% (44·3-51·2), and first antidepressant prescribing by 36·4% (33·9-38·8) in English general practices. Reductions in first diagnoses of depression and anxiety disorders were largest for adults of working age (18-44 and 45-64 years) and for patients registered at practices in more deprived areas. The incidence of self-harm was 37·6% (34·8-40·3%) lower than expected in April, 2020, and the reduction was greatest for women and individuals aged younger than 45 years. By September, 2020, rates of incident depression, anxiety disorder, and self-harm were similar to expected levels. In Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, rates of incident depression and anxiety disorder remained around a third lower than expected to September, 2020. In April, 2020, the rate of referral to mental health services was less than a quarter of the expected rate for the time of year (75·3% reduction [74·0-76·4]). INTERPRETATION: Consequences of the considerable reductions in primary care-recorded mental illness and self-harm could include more patients subsequently presenting with greater severity of mental illness and increasing incidence of non-fatal self-harm and suicide. Addressing the effects of future lockdowns and longer-term impacts of economic instability on mental health should be prioritised. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Self-Injurious Behavior/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
5.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 7(10): 883-892, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-665107

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population mental health is of increasing global concern. We examine changes in adult mental health in the UK population before and during the lockdown. METHODS: In this secondary analysis of a national, longitudinal cohort study, households that took part in Waves 8 or 9 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) panel, including all members aged 16 or older in April, 2020, were invited to complete the COVID-19 web survey on April 23-30, 2020. Participants who were unable to make an informed decision as a result of incapacity, or who had unknown postal addresses or addresses abroad were excluded. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Repeated cross-sectional analyses were done to examine temporal trends. Fixed-effects regression models were fitted to identify within-person change compared with preceding trends. FINDINGS: Waves 6-9 of the UKHLS had 53 351 participants. Eligible participants for the COVID-19 web survey were from households that took part in Waves 8 or 9, and 17 452 (41·2%) of 42 330 eligible people participated in the web survey. Population prevalence of clinically significant levels of mental distress rose from 18·9% (95% CI 17·8-20·0) in 2018-19 to 27·3% (26·3-28·2) in April, 2020, one month into UK lockdown. Mean GHQ-12 score also increased over this time, from 11·5 (95% CI 11·3-11·6) in 2018-19, to 12·6 (12·5-12·8) in April, 2020. This was 0·48 (95% CI 0·07-0·90) points higher than expected when accounting for previous upward trends between 2014 and 2018. Comparing GHQ-12 scores within individuals, adjusting for time trends and significant predictors of change, increases were greatest in 18-24-year-olds (2·69 points, 95% CI 1·89-3·48), 25-34-year-olds (1·57, 0·96-2·18), women (0·92, 0·50-1·35), and people living with young children (1·45, 0·79-2·12). People employed before the pandemic also averaged a notable increase in GHQ-12 score (0·63, 95% CI 0·20-1·06). INTERPRETATION: By late April, 2020, mental health in the UK had deteriorated compared with pre-COVID-19 trends. Policies emphasising the needs of women, young people, and those with preschool aged children are likely to play an important part in preventing future mental illness. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Regression Analysis , Sampling Studies , Sex Distribution , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
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