Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 43
Filter
1.
Br J Psychiatry ; : 1-10, 2022 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933167

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence on the impact of the pandemic on healthcare presentations for self-harm has accumulated rapidly. However, existing reviews do not include studies published beyond 2020. AIMS: To systematically review evidence on presentations to health services following self-harm during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: A comprehensive search of databases (WHO COVID-19 database; Medline; medRxiv; Scopus; PsyRxiv; SocArXiv; bioRxiv; COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, PubMed) was conducted. Studies published from 1 January 2020 to 7 September 2021 were included. Study quality was assessed with a critical appraisal tool. RESULTS: Fifty-one studies were included: 57% (29/51) were rated as 'low' quality, 31% (16/51) as 'moderate' and 12% (6/51) as 'high-moderate'. Most evidence (84%, 43/51) was from high-income countries. A total of 47% (24/51) of studies reported reductions in presentation frequency, including all six rated as high-moderate quality, which reported reductions of 17-56%. Settings treating higher lethality self-harm were overrepresented among studies reporting increased demand. Two of the three higher-quality studies including study observation months from 2021 reported reductions in self-harm presentations. Evidence from 2021 suggests increased numbers of presentations among adolescents, particularly girls. CONCLUSIONS: Sustained reductions in numbers of self-harm presentations were seen into the first half of 2021, although this evidence is based on a relatively small number of higher-quality studies. Evidence from low- and middle-income countries is lacking. Increased numbers of presentations among adolescents, particularly girls, into 2021 is concerning. Findings may reflect changes in thresholds for help-seeking, use of alternative sources of support and variable effects of the pandemic across groups.

2.
J Affect Disord ; 307: 215-220, 2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1920986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been substantial discussion as to whether the mental health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic might impact suicide rates. Although India accounts for the largest proportion of global suicides, the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates in this country are unknown. METHODS: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data were used to calculate annual suicide rates for the period 2010-2020, stratified by sex and state. Rate Ratios (RRs) stratified by sex and state were calculated to estimate the extent of change in suicide rates. RESULTS: Suicide rates in India generally showed a decreasing trend from 2010 until 2017, with the trend reversing after this period, particularly for males. Among males and females, the highest increase post 2017 was noted in 2020 (compared to 2017) (males: RR = 1.18 95% UI 1.17-1.19; females: RR = 1.05 95% UI 1.03-1.06). LIMITATION: Suicide rates based on the NCRB data might be an underestimation of the true suicide rates. CONCLUSION: Suicide rates in India increased during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and although the increase in suicide rates, especially among males, predates the pandemic, the increase in suicide rates was highest in 2020, compared to increases in previous years. Further research is warranted to understand the potential ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide in India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics
3.
BMJ Open ; 11(8), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1843161

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe WHO declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. Since then, the world has been firmly in the grip of the COVID-19. To date, more than 211 730 035 million confirmed cases and more than 4 430 697 million people have died. While controlling the virus and implementing vaccines are the main priorities, the population mental health impacts of the pandemic are expected to be longer term and are less obvious than the physical health ones. Lockdown restrictions, physical distancing, social isolation, as well as the loss of a loved one, working in a frontline capacity and loss of economic security may have negative effects on and increase the mental health challenges in populations around the world. There is a major demand for long-term research examining the mental health experiences and needs of people in order to design adequate policies and interventions for sustained action to respond to individual and population mental health needs both during and after the pandemic.Methods and analysisThis repeated cross-sectional mixed-method study conducts regular self-administered representative surveys, and targeted focus groups and semi-structured interviews with adults in the UK, as well as validation of gathered evidence through citizens’ juries for contextualisation (for the UK as a whole and for its four devolved nations) to ensure that emerging mental health problems are identified early on and are properly understood, and that appropriate policies and interventions are developed and implemented across the UK and within devolved contexts. STATA and NVIVO will be used to carry out quantitative and qualitative analysis, respectively.Ethics and disseminationEthics approval for this study has been granted by the Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee of the University of Cambridge, UK (PRE 2020.050) and by the Health and Life Sciences Research Ethics Committee of De Montfort University, UK (REF 422991). While unlikely, participants completing the self-administered surveys or participating in the virtual focus groups, semi-structured interviews and citizens’ juries might experience distress triggered by questions or conversations. However, appropriate mitigating measures have been adopted and signposting to services and helplines will be available at all times. Furthermore, a dedicated member of staff will also be at hand to debrief following participation in the research and personalised thank-you notes will be sent to everyone taking part in the qualitative research.Study findings will be disseminated in scientific journals, at research conferences, local research symposia and seminars. Evidence-based open access briefings, articles and reports will be available on our study website for everyone to access. Rapid policy briefings targeting issues emerging from the data will also be disseminated to inform policy and practice. These briefings will position the findings within UK public policy and devolved nations policy and socioeconomic contexts in order to develop specific, timely policy recommendations. Additional dissemination will be done through traditional and social media. Our data will be contextualised in view of existing policies, and changes over time as-and-when policies change.

4.
Can J Psychiatry ; : 7067437221094552, 2022 May 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832999

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a complex impact on risks of suicide and non-fatal self-harm worldwide with some evidence of increased risk in specific populations including women, young people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds. This review aims to systematically address whether SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or COVID-19 disease confer elevated risk directly. METHOD: As part of a larger Living Systematic Review examining self-harm and suicide during the pandemic, automated daily searches using a broad list of keywords were performed on a comprehensive set of databases with data from relevant articles published between January 1, 2020 and July 18, 2021. Eligibility criteria for our present review included studies investigating suicide and/or self-harm in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 with or without manifestations of COVID-19 disease with a comparator group who did not have infection or disease. Suicidal and self-harm thoughts and behaviour (STBs) were outcomes of interest. Studies were excluded if they reported data for people who only had potential infection/disease without a confirmed exposure, clinical/molecular diagnosis or self-report of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. Studies of news reports, treatment studies, and ecological studies examining rates of both SARS-CoV-2 infections and suicide/self-harm rates across a region were also excluded. RESULTS: We identified 12 studies examining STBs in nine distinct samples of people with SARS-CoV-2. These studies, which investigated STBs in the general population and in subpopulations, including healthcare workers, generally found positive associations between SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or COVID-19 disease and subsequent suicidal/self-harm thoughts and suicidal/self-harm behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: This review identified some evidence that infection with SARS-CoV-2 and/or COVID-19 disease may be associated with increased risks for suicidal and self-harm thoughts and behaviours but a causal link cannot be inferred. Further research with longer follow-up periods is required to confirm these findings and to establish whether these associations are causal.

5.
J Affect Disord Rep ; 6: 100271, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828734

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the mental health of healthcare and social care workers, and its potential effect on suicidal thoughts and behaviour is of particular concern. METHODS: This systematic review identified and appraised the published literature that has reported on the impact of COVID-19 on suicidal thoughts and behaviour and self-harm amongst healthcare and social care workers worldwide up to May 31, 2021. RESULTS: Out of 37 potentially relevant papers identified, ten met our eligibility criteria. Our review has highlighted that the impact of COVID-19 has varied as a function of setting, working relationships, occupational roles, and psychiatric comorbidities. LIMITATIONS: There have been no completed cohort studies comparing pre- and post-pandemic suicidal thoughts and behaviours. It is possible some papers may have been missed in the search. CONCLUSIONS: The current quality of evidence pertaining to suicidal behaviour in healthcare workers is poor, and evidence is entirely absent for those working in social care. The clinical relevance of this work is to bring attention to what evidence exists, and to encourage, in practice, proactive approaches to interventions for improving healthcare and social care worker mental health.

6.
Depress Anxiety ; 39(7): 564-572, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1825922

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prevalence estimates of COVID-19-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have ranged from 1% to over 60% in the general population. Individuals with lived experience of a psychiatric disorder may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19-related PTSD but this has received inadequate attention. METHODS: Participants were 1571 adults with lived experience of psychiatric disorder who took part in a longitudinal study of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. PTSD was assessed by the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ) anchored to the participant's most troubling COVID-19-related experiencevent. Factors hypothesised to be associated with traumatic stress symptoms were investigated by linear regression. RESULTS: 40.10% of participants perceived some aspect of the pandemic as traumatic. 5.28% reported an ICD-11 PTSD qualifying COVID-19 related traumatic exposure and 0.83% met criteria for probable ICD-11 COVID-19-related PTSD. Traumatic stress symptoms were associated with younger age, lower income, lower social support, and financial worries, and lived experience of PTSD/complex PTSD. Depression and anxiety measured in June 2020 predicted traumatic stress symptoms at follow-up approximately 20 weeks later in November 2020. CONCLUSIONS: We did not find evidence of widespread COVID-19-related PTSD among individuals with lived experience of a psychiatric disorder. There is a need for future research to derive valid prevalence estimates of COVID-19-related PTSD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Adult , Humans , International Classification of Diseases , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology
7.
Pirkis, Jane, Gunnell, David, Shin, Sangsoo, DelPozo-Banos, Marcos, Arya, Vikas, Analuisa Aguilar, Pablo, Appleby, Louis, Arafat, S. M. Yasir, Arensman, Ella, Ayuso-Mateos, Jose Luis, Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh, Bantjes, Jason, Baran, Anna, Behera, Chittaranjan, Bertolote, Jose, Borges, Guilherme, Bray, Michael, Brečić, Petrana, Caine, Eric D.; Calati, Raffaella, Carli, Vladimir, Castelpietra, Giulio, Chan, Lai Fong, Chang, Shu-Sen, Colchester, David, Coss-Guzmán, Maria, Crompton, David, Curkovic, Marko, Dandona, Rakhi, De Jaegere, Eva, De Leo, Diego, Deisenhammer, Eberhard, Dwyer, Jeremy, Erlangsen, Annette, Faust, Jeremy, Fornaro, Michele, Fortune, Sarah, Garrett, Andrew, Gentile, Guendalina, Gerstner, Rebekka, Gilissen, Renske, Gould, Madelyn, Gupta, Sudhir Kumar, Hawton, Keith, Holz, Franziska, Kamenshchikov, Iurii, Kapur, Navneet, Kasal, Alexandr, Khan, Murad, Kirtley, Olivia, Knipe, Duleeka, Kolves, Kairi, Kölzer, Sarah, Krivda, Hryhorii, Leske, Stuart, Madeddu, Fabio, Marshall, Andrew, Memon, Anjum, Mittendorfer-Rutz, Ellenor, Nestadt, Paul, Neznanov, Nikolay, Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas, Nielsen, Emma, Nordentoft, Merete, Oberlerchner, Herwig, O'Connor, Rory, Papsdorf, Rainer, Partonen, Timo, Michael, Phillips, Platt, Steve, Portzky, Gwendolyn, Psota, Georg, Qin, Ping, Radeloff, Daniel, Reif, Andreas, Reif-Leonhard, Christine, Rezaeian, Mohsen, Román-Vázquez, Nayda, Roskar, Saska, Rozanov, Vsevolod, Sara, Grant, Scavacini, Karen, Schneider, Barbara, Semenova, Natalia, Sinyor, Mark, Tambuzzi, Stefano, Townsend, Ellen, Ueda, Michiko, Wasserman, Danuta, Webb, Roger T.; Winkler, Petr, Yip, Paul S. F.; Zalsman, Gil, Zoja, Riccardo, John, Ann, Spittal, Matthew J..
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-331684

ABSTRACT

Background When the COVID-19 pandemic began there were concerns that suicides might rise, but predicted increases were not generally observed in the pandemic’s early months. However, the picture may be changing and patterns may vary across demographic groups. We aimed to provide an up-to-date, granular picture of the impact of COVID-19 on suicides globally.Methods We identified suicide data from official public-sector sources for countries/areas-within-countries. We used interrupted time series (ITS) analyses to model the association between the pandemic’s emergence and total suicides and suicides by sex-, age- and sex-by-age in each country/area-within-country. We compared the observed number of suicides to the expected number in the pandemic’s first nine and first 10-15 months and used meta-regression to explore sources of variation.Findings We sourced data from 33 countries (24 high-income, six upper-middle-income, three lower-middle-income). There was no evidence of greater-than-expected numbers of suicides in the majority of countries/areas-within-countries in any analysis;more commonly, there was evidence of lower-than-expected numbers. Certain sex, age and sex-by-age groups stood out as potentially concerning, but these were not consistent across countries/areas-within-countries. In the meta-regression, different patterns were not explained by countries’ COVID-19 mortality rate, stringency of public health response, level of economic support, or presence of a national suicide prevention strategy. They were also not explained by countries’ income level, although the meta-regression only included data from high-income and upper-middle-income countries, and there were suggestions from the ITS analyses that lower-middle-income countries fared less well.Interpretation Although there are some countries/areas-within-countries where overall suicide numbers and numbers for certain sex- and age-based groups are greater-than-expected, these are in the minority. Any upward movement in suicide numbers in any place or group is concerning, and we need to remain alert to and respond to changes as the pandemic and its mental health and economic consequences continue.

8.
BJPsych Open ; 8(2): e59, 2022 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731558

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected mental health, but most studies have been conducted in the general population. AIMS: To identify factors associated with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness. METHOD: Participants (N = 2869, 78% women, ages 18-94 years) from a UK cohort (the National Centre for Mental Health) with a history of mental illness completed a cross-sectional online survey in June to August 2020. Mental health assessments were the GAD-7 (anxiety), PHQ-9 (depression) and WHO-5 (well-being) questionnaires, and a self-report question on whether their mental health had changed during the pandemic. Regressions examined associations between mental health outcomes and hypothesised risk factors. Secondary analyses examined associations between specific mental health diagnoses and mental health. RESULTS: A total of 60% of participants reported that mental health had worsened during the pandemic. Younger age, difficulty accessing mental health services, low income, income affected by COVID-19, worry about COVID-19, reduced sleep and increased alcohol/drug use were associated with increased depression and anxiety symptoms and reduced well-being. Feeling socially supported by friends/family/services was associated with better mental health and well-being. Participants with a history of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorder were more likely to report that mental health had worsened during the pandemic than individuals without a history of these diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: We identified factors associated with worse mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness, in addition to specific groups potentially at elevated risk of poor mental health during the pandemic.

9.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328683

ABSTRACT

Background: While suicide rates in high- and middle-income countries appeared stable in the early stages of the pandemic, we know little about within-country variations. We sought to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on suicide in Mexico’s 32 states and to identify factors that may have contributed to observed variations between states. Methods: Interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from Jan 1, 2010, to March 31, 2020), comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number for the remainder of the year (April 1 to December 31, 2020) for each of Mexico’s 32 states. Next, we modeled state-level trends using linear regression to study likely contributing factors at ecological level. Results: Suicide increased across Mexico during the first nine months of the pandemic (RR 1.03;95%CI 1.01-1.05). Suicides remained stable in 19 states, increase in seven states (RR range: 1.12-2.04) and a decrease in six states (RR range: 0.46-0.88). Suicide RR at the state level was positively associated with population density in 2020 and state level suicide death rate in 2019. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had a differential effect on suicide death within the 32 states of Mexico. Higher population density and higher suicide rates in 2019 were associated with increased suicide. As the country struggles to cope with the ongoing pandemic, efforts to improve access to primary care and mental health care services (including suicide crisis intervention services) in these settings should be given priority.

10.
ProQuest Central;
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-328222

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable morbidity, mortality and disruption to people’s lives around the world. There are concerns that rates of suicide and suicidal behaviour may rise during and in its aftermath. Our living systematic review synthesises findings from emerging literature on incidence and prevalence of suicidal behaviour as well as suicide prevention efforts in relation to COVID-19, with this iteration synthesising relevant evidence up to 19 th October 2020. Method:  Automated daily searches feed into a web-based database with screening and data extraction functionalities. Eligibility criteria include incidence/prevalence of suicidal behaviour, exposure-outcome relationships and effects of interventions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outcomes of interest are suicide, self-harm or attempted suicide and suicidal thoughts. No restrictions are placed on language or study type, except for single-person case reports. We exclude one-off cross-sectional studies without either pre-pandemic measures or comparisons of COVID-19 positive vs. unaffected individuals. Results: Searches identified 6,226 articles. Seventy-eight articles met our inclusion criteria. We identified a further 64 relevant cross-sectional studies that did not meet our revised inclusion criteria. Thirty-four articles were not peer-reviewed (e.g. research letters, pre-prints). All articles were based on observational studies. There was no consistent evidence of a rise in suicide but many studies noted adverse economic effects were evolving. There was evidence of a rise in community distress, fall in hospital presentation for suicidal behaviour and early evidence of an increased frequency of suicidal thoughts in those who had become infected with COVID-19. Conclusions:  Research evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on suicidal behaviour is accumulating rapidly. This living review provides a regular synthesis of the most up-to-date research evidence to guide public health and clinical policy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on suicide risk as the longer term impacts of the pandemic on suicide risk are researched.

11.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327188

ABSTRACT

Background Evidence on the impacts of the pandemic on healthcare presentations for self-harm has accumulated rapidly. However, existing reviews do not include studies published beyond 2020. Aims To systematically review evidence on health services utilisation for self-harm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods A comprehensive search of multiple databases (WHO COVID-19 database;Medline;medRxiv;Scopus;PsyRxiv;SocArXiv;bioRxiv;COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, PubMed) was conducted. Studies reporting presentation frequencies for self-harm published from 1 st Jan. 2020 to 7 th Sept. 2021 were included. Study quality was assessed using a critical appraisal tool. Results Fifty-one studies were included. 59% (30/51) were rated as ‘low’ quality, 29% (15/51) as ‘moderate’ and 12% (6/51) as ‘high-moderate’. Most evidence (84%, 43/51 studies) was from high-income countries. 47% (24/51) of studies reported reductions in presentation frequency, including all 6 rated as high-moderate quality, which reported reductions of 17- 56%. Settings treating higher lethality self-harm were overrepresented among studies reporting increased demand. Two of the 3 higher quality studies including study observation months from 2021 reported reductions in service utilisation. Evidence from 2021 suggested increased use of health services following self-harm among adolescents, particularly girls. Conclusions Sustained reductions in service utilisation were seen into the first half of 2021. However, evidence from low- and middle-income countries is lacking. The increased use of health services among adolescents, particularly girls, into 2021 is of concern. Our findings may reflect changes in thresholds for help seeking, use of alternative sources of support and variable effects of the pandemic across different groups.

12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319097

ABSTRACT

Background: The UK population’s mental health declined at the pandemic onset. Convenience sample surveys indicate recovery began soon after. Using a probability sample, we tracked average mental health during the pandemic, characterised distinct mental health trajectories and identified predictors of deterioration.Methods: Secondary analysis of five waves of UK Household Longitudinal Survey from late April-early October 2020 and pre-pandemic data, 2018-2019. Mental health was assessed in 19,763 adults (≥16 years) using 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Latent class growth models identified discrete mental health trajectories and fixed-effects regression identified predictors of change in mental health.Findings: Average population mental health deteriorated with onset of the pandemic and did not begin improving until July 2020. Latent class analysis identified six distinct mental health trajectories up to October 2020. Three-quarters had consistently good (46·2%) or very good (30·9%) mental health. Two ‘recovery’ groups (15·8%) initially experienced marked declines in mental health, improving to their pre-pandemic levels by October. For 4·8%, mental health steadily deteriorated and for 2·3% it was very poor throughout. These two groups were more likely to have pre-existing mental or physical ill-health, live in deprived neighbourhoods and be non-white. Infection with COVID-19, local lockdown and financial difficulties all predicted subsequent mental health deterioration.Interpretation: Between April-October 2020, the mental health of most UK adults remained resilient or returned to pre-pandemic levels. One-in-fourteen experienced deteriorating or consistently poor mental health. People living in areas affected by lockdown, struggling financially, with pre-existing conditions or COVID infection might benefit most from early intervention.Funding Statement: None.Declaration of Interests: None.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethics approval was granted by the University of Essex Ethics Committee for the COVID-19 web and telephone surveys (ETH1920-1271).

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314317

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies conducted shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated decreased mental health and wellbeing within the UK. However, it is still unclear whether the continued crisis has produced a further reduction in population wellbeing.Methods: This study assessed the trajectory of wellbeing and psychological distress in a UK population by comparing data from the first (March 2020-July 2020) and second (December 2020-March 2021) UK lockdowns. Wellbeing (indexed via the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) and psychological distress (indexed via the K10) were measured in two surveys in large online convenience samples from Wales, UK. The first survey (n = 12,989) took place 11-16 weeks into the first UK lockdown (9th June to 13th July 2020) and the second survey (n = 10,428) took place 4-11 weeks into the second UK lockdown (18th January to 7th March 2021).Outcomes: Levels of wellbeing were lower in the second survey (2021) compared to the first survey (2020), which were already low compared to pre-pandemic data (2019). Clinically significant levels of psychological distress were found in 40.4% of participants in the second survey, representing a 9.8% increase in prevalence from the first survey. Poorer mental health was found in women, younger adults, and those from deprived areas. The greatest reduction in mental health was found in the youngest age group (16-24 years old), where significant levels of psychological distress were found in 66.3% of individuals, compared to 16.4% in the oldest age group (75+ years old).Interpretation: The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to curb its spread continue to negatively impact the wellbeing of the UK population.Funding: None.Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee at the College of Health and Human Sciences, Swansea University.

14.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314313

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the largest acute public health emergency of this century. Government intervention to contain the virus focuses on non-pharmacological approaches such as physical distancing/lockdown (stay-at-home orders). As the situation develops, the impact of these measures on mental health and coping strategies in individuals and the population is unknown. Methods: We used Google Trends data (01 Jan 2020 to 09 Jun 2020) to explore the changing pattern of public concern in the UK to government measures as indexed by changes in search frequency for topics related to mental distress as well as coping and resilience. We explored the changes of specific topics in relation to key dates during the pandemic. In addition, we examined terms whose search frequency increased most. Results: Following lockdown, public concerns - as indexed by relative search trends - were directly related to COVID-19 and practicalities such as ‘furlough’ (paid leave scheme for people in employment) in response to the pandemic. Over time, searches with the most substantial growth were no longer directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. In contrast to relatively stable rates of searches related to mental distress, the topics that demonstrated a sustained increase were those associated with coping and resilience such as exercise and learning new skills. Conclusions: Google Trends is an expansive dataset which enables the investigation of population-level search activity as a proxy for public concerns. It has potential to enable policy makers to respond in real time to promote adaptive behaviours and deliver appropriate support.

15.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314312

ABSTRACT

Background: The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic is a major international public health challenge.  Governments have taken public health protection measures to reduce the spread of the virus through non-pharmalogical measures. The impact of the pandemic and the public health response on individual and population mental health is unknown.  Methods: We used Google Trends data (1 Jan 2020 -  30 Mar 2020) to investigate the impact of the pandemic and government measures to curb it on people’s concerns, as indexed by changes in search frequency for topics indicating mental distress, social and economic stressors and mental health treatment-seeking. We explored the changes of key topics in Google trends in Italy, Spain, USA, UK, and Worldwide in relation to sentinel events during the pandemic. Results: Globally there appears to be significant concerns over the financial and work-related consequences of the pandemic, with some evidence that levels of fear are rising. Conversely relative searching for topics related to depression and suicide fell after the pandemic was announced, with some evidence that searches for the latter have risen recently. Concerns over education and access to medication appear to be particular social stressors. Whilst searches for face-to-face treatments have declined, those for self-care have risen. Conclusions: Monitoring Google trends shows promise as a means of tracking changing public concerns. In weeks to come it may enable policy makers to assess the impact of their interventions including those aiming to limit negative consequences, such as government funded financial safety nets.

16.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313480

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread morbidity and mortality as well as disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods around the world;this has occurred as a result of both infection with the virus itself and the health protection measures taken to curb its spread. There are concerns that rates of suicide, suicidal behaviours and self-harm may rise during and in the aftermath of the pandemic. Given the likely rapidly expanding research evidence base on the pandemic’s impact on rates of suicide, suicidal behaviours and self-harm and emerging evidence about how best to mitigate such effects, it is important that the best available knowledge is made readily available to policymakers, public health specialists and clinicians as soon as is possible. To facilitate this, we plan to undertake a living systematic review focusing on suicide prevention in relation to COVID-19. Method: Regular automated searches will feed into a web-based screening system which will also host the data extraction form for included articles. Our eligibility criteria are wide and include aspects of incidence and prevalence of suicidal behaviour, effects of exposures and effects of interventions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, with minimal restrictions on the types of study design to be included. The outcomes assessed will be death by suicide;self-harm or attempted suicide (including hospital attendance and/or admission for these reasons);and suicidal thoughts/ideation. There will be no restriction on study type, except for single case reports. There will be no restriction on language of publication. The review will be updated at three-monthly intervals if a sufficient volume of new evidence justifies doing so. Conclusions: Our living review will provide a regular synthesis of the most up-to-date research evidence to guide public health and clinical policy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on suicide. Protocol registration: PROSPERO CRD42020183326 01/05/2020

17.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
18.
Advances in Mental Health ; : 1-13, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1684411

ABSTRACT

Objective Method Results Discussion This study aimed to assess the trajectory of wellbeing and psychological distress in a UK sample by comparing data taken from the first and second UK lockdowns.Wellbeing (indexed via the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale) and psychological distress (indexed via the K10) were measured in two surveys in large online samples from Wales, UK. The first survey (n = 12,989) took place 11–16 weeks into the first UK lockdown and the second survey (n = 10,428) took place 4–11 weeks into the second UK lockdown.Levels of wellbeing were lower in the second survey compared to the first survey, which were already low compared to pre-pandemic data (2019). Clinically significant levels of psychological distress were found in 40.4% of participants in the second survey, representing a 9.8% increase in prevalence from the first survey. Poorer mental health was found in women, younger adults, and those from deprived areas. The greatest reduction in mental health was found in the youngest age group (16-24 years old).The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to curb its spread continue to negatively impact the wellbeing of the UK population. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Advances in Mental Health is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

19.
BMJ Open ; 11(12), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1594503

ABSTRACT

ObjectivesThere has been speculation on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown on suicidal thoughts and self-harm and the factors associated with any change. We aimed to assess the effects and change in effects of risk factors including loneliness and coping, as well as pre-existing mental health conditions on suicidal thoughts and self-harm during the COVID-19 pandemic.DesignThis study was a repeated cross-sectional online population-based survey.Participants and measuresNon-probability quota sampling was adopted on the UK adult population and four waves of data were analysed during the pandemic (17 March 2020 to 29 May 2020). Outcomes were suicidal thoughts and self-harm associated with the pandemic while loneliness, coping, pre-existing mental health conditions, employment status and demographics were covariates. We ran binomial regressions to evaluate the adjusted risks of the studied covariates as well as the changes in effects over time.ResultsThe proportion of individuals who felt lonely increased sharply from 9.8% to 23.9% after the UK lockdown began. Young people (aged 18–24 years), females, students, those who were unemployed and individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions were more likely to report feeling lonely and not coping well. 7.7%–10.0% and 1.9%–2.2% of respondents reported having suicidal thoughts and self-harm associated with the pandemic respectively throughout the period studied. Results from cross-tabulation and adjusted regression analyses showed young adults, coping poorly and with pre-existing mental health conditions were significantly associated with suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Loneliness was significantly associated with suicidal thoughts but not self-harm.ConclusionsThe association between suicidality, loneliness and coping was evident in young people during the early stages of the pandemic. Developing effective interventions designed and coproduced to address loneliness and promote coping strategies during prolonged social isolation may promote mental health and help mitigate suicidal thoughts and self-harm associated with the pandemic.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
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.

SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL