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1.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2048205

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The stress-sensitization hypothesis posits that individuals with prior trauma are at elevated risk for poor mental health when faced with subsequent stressors. Little work has examined whether those who have demonstrated psychological resilience to prior trauma would show either increased resilience or vulnerability to subsequent stressors. We examined pre-pandemic psychological resilience to lifetime trauma in relation to mental health outcomes amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a major societal stressor. METHODS: The sample included 16,900 trauma-exposed women from the Nurses' Health Study II. Pre-pandemic resilience was defined by psychological health in 2017-2019 (characterized by levels of both distress and positive emotional well-being) relative to lifetime trauma. Resilience was defined categorically by cross-classifying unfavorable, adequate, and favorable psychological health by higher versus lower trauma burden, and continuously as the residual difference in predicted versus actual psychological health regressed on trauma burden. Mental health outcomes as of May-August 2020 included psychological distress symptoms and overall positive emotional well-being. Associations were assessed using covariate-adjusted regression models. RESULTS: Pre-pandemic resilience was associated with lower distress and higher well-being early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Relative to the women showing highest resilience (favorable psychological health despite higher trauma), only those with lower trauma and favorable prior psychological health had significantly lower distress and higher positive emotional well-being during the pandemic. Higher continuous pre-pandemic resilience was also significantly associated with lower distress and higher positive emotional well-being during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Preventing mental health problems following trauma may contribute to protecting population well-being amid major stressors.

2.
JAMA Psychiatry ; 79(11): 1081-1091, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2013279

ABSTRACT

Importance: Few risk factors for long-lasting (≥4 weeks) COVID-19 symptoms have been identified. Objective: To determine whether high levels of psychological distress before SARS-CoV-2 infection, characterized by depression, anxiety, worry, perceived stress, and loneliness, are prospectively associated with increased risk of developing post-COVID-19 conditions (sometimes called long COVID). Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study used data from 3 large ongoing, predominantly female cohorts: Nurses' Health Study II, Nurses' Health Study 3, and the Growing Up Today Study. Between April 2020 and November 2021, participants were followed up with periodic surveys. Participants were included if they reported no current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection at the April 2020 baseline survey when distress was assessed and returned 1 or more follow-up questionnaires. Exposures: Depression, anxiety, worry about COVID-19, perceived stress, and loneliness were measured at study baseline early in the pandemic, before SARS-CoV-2 infection, using validated questionnaires. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 infection was self-reported during each of 6 monthly and then quarterly follow-up questionnaires. COVID-19-related symptoms lasting 4 weeks or longer and daily life impairment due to these symptoms were self-reported on the final questionnaire, 1 year after baseline. Results: Of 54 960 participants, 38.0% (n = 20 902) were active health care workers, and 96.6% (n = 53 107) were female; the mean (SD) age was 57.5 (13.8) years. Six percent (3193 participants) reported a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result during follow-up (1-47 weeks after baseline). Among these, probable depression (risk ratio [RR], 1.32; 95% CI = 1.12-1.55), probable anxiety (RR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.23-1.65), worry about COVID-19 (RR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.17-1.61), perceived stress (highest vs lowest quartile: RR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.18-1.81), and loneliness (RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.08-1.61) were each associated with post-COVID-19 conditions (1403 cases) in generalized estimating equation models adjusted for sociodemographic factors, health behaviors, and comorbidities. Participants with 2 or more types of distress prior to infection were at nearly 50% increased risk for post-COVID-19 conditions (RR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.23-1.80). All types of distress were associated with increased risk of daily life impairment (783 cases) among individuals with post-COVID-19 conditions (RR range, 1.15-1.51). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that preinfection psychological distress may be a risk factor for post-COVID-19 conditions in individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Future work should examine the biobehavioral mechanism linking psychological distress with persistent postinfection symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Loneliness/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Depression/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Anxiety/psychology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
3.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0271661, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987153

ABSTRACT

Racial/ethnic minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The effects of COVID-19 on the long-term mental health of minorities remains unclear. To evaluate differences in odds of screening positive for depression and anxiety among various racial and ethnic groups during the latter phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of 691,473 participants nested within the prospective smartphone-based COVID Symptom Study in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K). from February 23, 2021 to June 9, 2021. In the U.S. (n=57,187), compared to White participants, the multivariable odds ratios (ORs) for screening positive for depression were 1·16 (95% CI: 1·02 to 1·31) for Black, 1·23 (1·11 to 1·36) for Hispanic, and 1·15 (1·02 to 1·30) for Asian participants, and 1·34 (1·13 to 1·59) for participants reporting more than one race/other even after accounting for personal factors such as prior history of a mental health disorder, COVID-19 infection status, and surrounding lockdown stringency. Rates of screening positive for anxiety were comparable. In the U.K. (n=643,286), racial/ethnic minorities had similarly elevated rates of positive screening for depression and anxiety. These disparities were not fully explained by changes in leisure time activities. Racial/ethnic minorities bore a disproportionate mental health burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. These differences will need to be considered as health care systems transition from prioritizing infection control to mitigating long-term consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , African Americans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
5.
Psychol Med ; : 1-10, 2022 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pre-pandemic psychological distress is associated with increased susceptibility to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, but associations with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity are not established. The authors examined the associations between distress prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent risk of hospitalization. METHODS: Between April 2020 (baseline) and April 2021, we followed 54 781 participants from three ongoing cohorts: Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), Nurses' Health Study 3 (NHS3), and the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) who reported no current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline. Chronic depression was assessed during 2010-2019. Depression, anxiety, worry about COVID-19, perceived stress, and loneliness were measured at baseline. SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization due to COVID-19 was self-reported. Relative risks (RRs) were calculated by Poisson regression. RESULTS: 3663 participants reported a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (mean age = 55.0 years, standard deviation = 13.8) during follow-up. Among these participants, chronic depression prior to the pandemic [RR = 1.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-2.46], and probable depression (RR = 1.81, 95% CI 1.08-3.03), being very worried about COVID-19 (RR = 1.79; 95% CI 1.12-2.86), and loneliness (RR = 1.81, 95% CI 1.02-3.20) reported at baseline were each associated with subsequent COVID-19 hospitalization, adjusting for demographic factors and healthcare worker status. Anxiety and perceived stress were not associated with hospitalization. Depression, worry about COVID-19, and loneliness were as strongly associated with hospitalization as were high cholesterol and hypertension, established risk factors for COVID-19 severity. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological distress may be a risk factor for hospitalization in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Assessment of psychological distress may identify patients at greater risk of hospitalization. Future work should examine whether addressing distress improves physical health outcomes.

7.
Innovation in Aging ; 5(Supplement_1):411-412, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1584576

ABSTRACT

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is twice as prevalent in women as in men, and is an established risk factor for chronic disease, but few studies have comprehensively assessed lifetime PTSD in middle-aged and older civilian women. We surveyed 33,328 women aged 54-74 from the Nurses’ Health Study II from August 2018 to January 2020 to understand trauma exposure, PTSD based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 5, and trauma-related treatment use. The majority (82.2%) of women reported one or more lifetime traumas. 10.5% of those with trauma had lifetime PTSD and 1.5% had past-month PTSD. The most common trauma types were sudden or unexpected death of a loved one (44.9%) and interpersonal or sexual violence (43.5%). Almost 30% experienced occupational (nursing-related) trauma. Interpersonal or sexual violence event types explained the largest proportion of PTSD cases (33.6%) out of seven categories of events assessed. Only 25% of women with trauma ever accessed trauma-related treatment, but this proportion was higher (66.4%) among those with diagnosable PTSD, and among those with current depression (35.9%). Treatment was most common among women who experienced interpersonal/sexual violence and lowest among those with occupational trauma, but treatment satisfaction did not vary by worst trauma type. Psychotherapy was the most common type of treatment. These results demonstrate that trauma is nearly universal in middle-aged to older women, which has important implications for their long-term health and well-being—particularly in the era of COVID-19 which is likely to produce additional trauma in this population.

9.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 768, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pregnant and postpartum women face unique challenges and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, no studies have explored the factors associated with increased levels of worry in this population globally. The current study sought to assess the frequency and sources of worry during the COVID-19 pandemic in an international sample of pregnant and postpartum women. METHODS: We conducted an anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey in 64 countries between May and June 2020. The survey was available in 12 languages and hosted on the Pregistry platform for COVID-19 studies. Participants were sought mainly on social media platforms and online parenting forums. The survey included questions related to demographics, level of worry, support, stress, COVID-19 exposure, frequency of media usage, and mental health indicators. RESULTS: The study included 7561 participants. Eighty-three percent of all participants indicated that they were either 'somewhat' or 'very' worried. Women 13-28 weeks pregnant were significantly more likely to indicate that they were 'very worried' compared to those who were postpartum or at other stages of pregnancy. When compared with women living in Europe, those in Africa, Asia and Pacific, North America and South/Latin America were more likely to have increased levels of worry, as were those who more frequently interacted with social media. Different forms of support and stress also had an impact upon level of worry, while indicators of stress and anxiety were positively associated with worry level. CONCLUSION: Pregnant and postpartum women are vulnerable to the changes in societal norms brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the factors associated with levels of worry within this population will enable society to address potential unmet needs and improve the current and future mental health of parents and children.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Pregnancy Complications/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Humans , Logistic Models , Odds Ratio , Postpartum Period/psychology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Risk Factors , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Young Adult
10.
J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med ; : 1-9, 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279993

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Stress is a complex condition that can have a profound effect on an individual's sense of wellbeing and their ability to live a happy and healthy life. COVID-19 and its associated stressors have the potential to disrupt numerous facets of our everyday lives. Pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable to changes in the availability of routine health and social care services and of their support networks. The current study sought to explore stress levels and their influencers among an international cohort of pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted an anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey in 64 countries between May and June 2020. The survey was hosted on the Pregistry platform and made available in 12 languages, with respondents sought through a variety of social media platforms and parenting forums. In addition to levels of stress, we collected data related to demographics, COVID-19 exposure and worries, lifestyle changes, traditional and social media use, precautionary measures related to COVID-19, and mental health. RESULTS: In total, 7185 women were included in our sample. We found statistically significant (p-value <0.05) reductions in stress score among older women (≥35 years of age), those either living with a partner or married, those who had graduated from college, and those with medical coverage. Higher stress scores were found among women who resided in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, and North America compared with those in Europe. When race and ethnicity were included in the model, black women were found to have higher stress compared to white women. Level of family and community support was inversely associated with level of stress. CONCLUSION: Our study is one of the first to explore stress levels among pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found statistically significant differences in stress levels by age, education, marital status, region of residence, race/ethnicity and level of support. Understanding stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, and exploring ways to address it, will be key to contributing to the mental and physical health of expectant and new mothers, as well as their children, in both the short and long term.

11.
J Psychosom Res ; 148: 110552, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275529

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the mental health impact of COVID-19 on a demographically well-characterized population cohort by gender and previous depression status. METHODS: Among people who participated in a community cohort study between 2013 and 2018 with previous depression measurement, a total of 1928 people without quarantine experience (680 men and 1249 women) were included after responding to an online survey in March 2020. In the 2020 survey, people were queried about daily needs supply, social support, risk perception, change during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as mental health indices measuring loneliness, anxiety symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. Separate analyses by gender were conducted to assess the association between COVID-19-related experiences and each mental health index, using multivariable logistic regressions with additional adjustment and stratification with pre-existing depression status. RESULTS: We could not observe significant gender differences for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and loneliness at 55 days after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Most external support, including daily needs supply and social support, protected men and women from experiencing severe anxiety (for life supply, OR = 0.92 (95%CI 0.88-0.97) (men) and OR = 0.95 (95% CI 0.91-0.99) (women); for social support, OR = 0.92(both for men and women, p < 0.01)). The results were similar for depression and PTSD. External support showed a larger reduction in the likelihoods for anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic among people with pre-existing depression compared to previously healthy people, and it was more prominent in men. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 significantly affected the mental health of both men and women in the early period of the pandemic. Having enough supply of daily needs and social support seems important, especially for people with previous depression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Health Surveys , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Causality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Time Factors
12.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249780, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197377

ABSTRACT

Pregnant and postpartum women face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that may put them at elevated risk of mental health problems. However, few large-scale and no cross-national studies have been conducted to date that investigate modifiable pandemic-related behavioral or cognitive factors that may influence mental health in this vulnerable group. This international study sought to identify and measure the associations between pandemic-related information seeking, worries, and prevention behaviors on perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. An anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey of pregnant and postpartum women was conducted in 64 countries between May 26, 2020 and June 13, 2020. The survey, available in twelve languages, was hosted on the Pregistry platform for COVID-19 studies (https://corona.pregistry.com) and advertised in social media channels and online parenting forums. Participants completed measures on demographics, COVID-19 exposure and worries, information seeking, COVID-19 prevention behaviors, and mental health symptoms including posttraumatic stress via the IES-6, anxiety/depression via the PHQ-4, and loneliness via the UCLA-3. Of the 6,894 participants, substantial proportions of women scored at or above the cut-offs for elevated posttraumatic stress (2,979 [43%]), anxiety/depression (2,138 [31%], and loneliness (3,691 [53%]). Information seeking from any source (e.g., social media, news, talking to others) five or more times per day was associated with more than twice the odds of elevated posttraumatic stress and anxiety/depression, in adjusted models. A majority of women (86%) reported being somewhat or very worried about COVID-19. The most commonly reported worries were related to pregnancy and delivery, including family being unable to visit after delivery (59%), the baby contracting COVID-19 (59%), lack of a support person during delivery (55%), and COVID-19 causing changes to the delivery plan (41%). Greater worries related to children (i.e., inadequate childcare, their infection risk) and missing medical appointments were associated with significantly higher odds of posttraumatic stress, anxiety/depression and loneliness. Engaging in hygiene-related COVID-19 prevention behaviors (face mask-wearing, washing hands, disinfecting surfaces) were not related to mental health symptoms or loneliness. Elevated posttraumatic stress, anxiety/depression, and loneliness are highly prevalent in pregnant and postpartum women across 64 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excessive information seeking and worries related to children and medical care are associated with elevated symptoms, whereas engaging in hygiene-related preventive measures were not. In addition to screening and monitoring mental health symptoms, addressing excessive information seeking and women's worries about access to medical care and their children's well-being, and developing strategies to target loneliness (e.g., online support groups) should be part of intervention efforts for perinatal women. Public health campaigns and medical care systems need to explicitly address the impact of COVID-19 related stressors on mental health in perinatal women, as prevention of viral exposure itself does not mitigate the pandemic's mental health impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pregnancy/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Parturition/psychology , Perinatal Care , Postpartum Period/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Women's Health
14.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 11(1): 1762995, 2020 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-631889

ABSTRACT

Our submission is responsive to the urgent need for public mental health action prompted by the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. In it, we review the evidence calling for urgent public mental health action, propose a mental health equivalent fo the World Health Organization's 'Do the Five' concept, and describe the 'REACH for Mental Health' public health measure we have launched at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Nuestra presentación responde a la necesidad urgente de acciones en la salud mental pública debido a la creciente pandemia de COVID-19. En esta presentación revisamos la evidencia que exige acciones urgentes de la salud mental pública, proponemos un equivalente de salud mental del concepto 'Haz los cinco' de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, y describimos la intervención de salud pública 'REACH (por sus siglas en ingles) para Salud Mental' que hemos lanzado en la Escuela T.H. Chan de Salud Pública de Harvard.

15.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev ; 29(7): 1283-1289, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-219604

ABSTRACT

The rapid pace of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) pandemic presents challenges to the real-time collection of population-scale data to inform near-term public health needs as well as future investigations. We established the COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) consortium to address this unprecedented crisis on behalf of the epidemiology research community. As a central component of this initiative, we have developed a COVID Symptom Study (previously known as the COVID Symptom Tracker) mobile application as a common data collection tool for epidemiologic cohort studies with active study participants. This mobile application collects information on risk factors, daily symptoms, and outcomes through a user-friendly interface that minimizes participant burden. Combined with our efforts within the general population, data collected from nearly 3 million participants in the United States and United Kingdom are being used to address critical needs in the emergency response, including identifying potential hot spots of disease and clinically actionable risk factors. The linkage of symptom data collected in the app with information and biospecimens already collected in epidemiology cohorts will position us to address key questions related to diet, lifestyle, environmental, and socioeconomic factors on susceptibility to COVID-19, clinical outcomes related to infection, and long-term physical, mental health, and financial sequalae. We call upon additional epidemiology cohorts to join this collective effort to strengthen our impact on the current health crisis and generate a new model for a collaborative and nimble research infrastructure that will lead to more rapid translation of our work for the betterment of public health.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Data Collection/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Software , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Models, Biological , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Smartphone , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
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