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Transl Psychiatry ; 11(1): 573, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510584


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly affected the mental health of both infected and uninfected people. Although most psychiatric disorders have highly overlapping genetic and pathogenic backgrounds, most studies investigating the impact of the pandemic have examined only single psychiatric disorders. It is necessary to examine longitudinal trajectories of factors that modulate psychiatric states across multiple dimensions. About 2274 Japanese citizens participated in online surveys presented in December 2019 (before the pandemic), August 2020, Dec 2020, and April 2021. These surveys included nine questionnaires on psychiatric symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. Multidimensional psychiatric time-series data were then decomposed into four principal components. We used generalized linear models to identify modulating factors for the effects of the pandemic on these components. The four principal components can be interpreted as a general psychiatric burden, social withdrawal, alcohol-related problems, and depression/anxiety. Principal components associated with general psychiatric burden and depression/anxiety peaked during the initial phase of the pandemic. They were further exacerbated by the economic burden the pandemic imposed. In contrast, principal components associated with social withdrawal showed a delayed peak, with human relationships as an important risk modulating factor. In addition, being female was a risk factor shared across all components. Our results show that COVID-19 has imposed a large and varied burden on the Japanese population since the commencement of the pandemic. Although components related to the general psychiatric burden remained elevated, peak intensities differed between components related to depression/anxiety and those related to social withdrawal. These results underline the importance of using flexible monitoring and mitigation strategies for mental problems, according to the phase of the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
J Psychiatr Res ; 142: 218-225, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340739


Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and problematic internet use (PIU) are becoming increasingly detrimental to modern society, with serious consequences for daily functioning. IGD and PIU may be exacerbated by lifestyle changes imposed by the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study investigated changes in IGD and PIU during the pandemic and risk factors for them. This study is a part of a larger online study of problematic smartphone use in Japan, originally planned in 2019, and expanded in August 2020 to include the impact of COVID-19. 51,246 adults completed an online survey during the pandemic (August 2020), in Japan. Of these, 3,938 had also completed the survey before the onset of the pandemic (December 2019) and were used as the study population to determine how the pandemic has influenced IGD and PIU. IGD was assessed using the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale (IGDS). PIU was measured using the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS). The prevalence of probable IGD during COVID-19 was 4.1% overall [95%CI, 3.9%-4.2%] (N = 51,246), and 8.6% among younger people (age < 30), 1-2.5% higher than reported before the pandemic. Probable PIU was 7.8% overall [95%CI, 7.6%-8.1%], and 17.0% [95%CI, 15.9%-18.2%] among younger people, 3.2-3.7% higher than reported before the pandemic. Comparisons before and during the pandemic, revealed that probable IGD prevalence has increased 1.6 times, and probable PIU prevalence by 1.5 times (IGD: χ2= 619.9, p < .001, PIU: χ2= 594.2, p < .001). Youth (age < 30) and COVID-19 infection were strongly associated with IGD exacerbation (odds ratio, 2.10 [95%CI, 1.18 to 3.75] and 5.67 [95%CI, 1.33 to 24.16]). Internet gaming disorder and problematic internet use appear to be aggravated by the pandemic. In particular, younger persons and people infected with COVID-19 are at higher risk for Internet Gaming Disorder. Prevention and treatment of these problems are needed.

Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Video Games , Adolescent , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Humans , Internet , Internet Addiction Disorder , Internet Use , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2