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1.
Frontiers in psychology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1837873

ABSTRACT

Background Previous studies suggest that romantic relationships can be beneficial to mental health, but may also be a major stressor depending on specific relationship characteristics. Studies examining the role of romantic relationship in mental health are scarce. This study aimed to investigate differences in mental health with regards to relationship characteristics. Methods We assessed individuals’ mental health, i.e., suicidal ideation (via Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation, BSS), depression (via Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9), anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), experience of psychological and physical violence, including changes in suicidal ideation and anxiety compared to before the pandemic, and relationship characteristics (i.e., relationship status, satisfaction, and commitment as well as family structure) with online questionnaires in a population-based cross-sectional study with 3,012 respondents in Austria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results There were small to medium–sized group differences with regards to relationship status and satisfaction (ηp2: 0.011–0.056). Most mental health outcomes were less favorable in singles than in individuals in happy relationships, but scores for anxiety (p < 0.001), psychological (p < 0.001) and physical violence (p < 0.001), and the probability of experiencing an increase in anxiety compared to before the pandemic (p < 0.01) were lower in singles as compared to those with low relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, scores for suicidal ideation (p > 0.001) and psychological (p > 0.01) and physical violence (p > 0.01) were highest in individuals in relationships with low commitment and with a child living in the same household, but effect sizes were small (ηp2: 0.004–0.015). Conclusion During the COVID-19 pandemic, as compared to singles, mental health appeared worse in individuals with low relationship satisfaction and those in a relationship with low commitment and with a child in the household. Living in a happy relationship was associated with somewhat better mental health.

2.
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.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316974

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world's population to sudden challenges that elicited strong emotional reactions. Although investigations of responses to tragic one-off events exist, studies on the evolution of collective emotions during a pandemic are missing. We analyzed the digital traces of emotional expressions in tweets during five weeks after the start of outbreaks in 18 countries and six different languages. We observed an early strong upsurge of anxiety-related terms in all countries, which was stronger in countries with stronger increases in cases. Sadness terms rose and anger terms decreased around two weeks later, as social distancing measures were implemented. Positive emotions remained relatively stable. All emotions changed together with an increase in the stringency of measures during certain weeks of the outbreak. Our results show some of the most enduring changes in emotional expression observed in long periods of social media data. Words that frequently occurred in tweets suggest a shift in topics of conversation across all emotions, from political ones in 2019, to pandemic related issues during the outbreak, including everyday life changes, other people, and health. This kind of time-sensitive analyses of large-scale samples of emotional expression have the potential to inform mental health support and risk communication.

4.
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.

5.
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
6.
J Affect Disord ; 303: 203-205, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676787

ABSTRACT

Online searches related to suicide may sometimes be an early proxy indicator for behavioural outcomes. We used interrupted time series regression analyses to examine changes in suicide and resilience-related Google searches worldwide and in the United States during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Searches for the word "suicide" were unchanged worldwide (-1%; 95%CI, -12%-11%) and in the US (-7%; 95%CI, -15%-2%) with decreased searches for "suicide methods" and increased searches for "how to kill yourself" and for resilience-related terms. This study provides potential evidence that suicides may not increase worldwide during the first year of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Search Engine , United States
7.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544477

ABSTRACT

Suicide prevention videos featuring young people's personal narratives of hope and recovery are increasingly used in suicide prevention, but research on their effects is scarce. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effects of a suicide prevention video featuring an adolescent mastering his suicidal ideation by getting help on 14 to 19-year-olds. N = 299 adolescents were randomly allocated to watch the intervention video (n = 148) or a control video unrelated to mental health (n = 151). Questionnaire data were collected before (T1) and immediately after exposure (T2), and 4 weeks later (T3). Data were analyzed with a repeated-measures ANCOVA. The primary outcome was suicidal ideation, assessed with the Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents. Secondary outcomes were help-seeking intentions, attitudes towards suicide, stigmatization of suicidality, and mood. There was an immediate beneficial effect of the intervention on suicidal ideation (T2 mean change from baseline within intervention group MChange = - 0.16 [95% CI - 0.20 to - 0.12], mean difference compared to control group MDiff = - 0.09 [95% CI - 0.15 to - 0.03], ηp2 = 0.03), which was not maintained at T3. Participants reported significantly higher help-seeking intentions, which was maintained at 4-week follow-up. They also reported a sustained reduction of favorable attitudes to suicide. Effects on suicidal ideation were mediated by identification with the featured protagonist. Adolescents appear to benefit from suicide prevention narratives featuring personal stories from peers on coping with suicidal ideation and help-seeking.Trial registration DRKS00017405; 24/09/19; retrospectively registered.

9.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284642

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
10.
J Affect Disord ; 286: 134-141, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131431

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a Harry Potter-based mental health literacy curriculum, imparting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills, on suicidality and well-being in middle-schoolers. METHODS: Students (aged 11-14; grades 7-8) who received a 3-month teacher-delivered intervention embedded in the language arts curriculum (N=200) were compared to a wait-list control group (N=230) in the largest urban school board in Canada. Suicidality defined as a composite measure of self-reported suicidal ideation and attempts [primary outcome], self-reported emotion dysregulation, interpersonal chaos, confusion about self, and impulsivity [Life Problems Inventory (LPI)] and self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms [Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS)] were the outcomes of interest. Measurements occurred prior to and after curriculum delivery with independent t-tests used to compare mean change scores between groups clustered by class. RESULTS: Thirty-seven English teachers in 46 classes across 15 schools comprised the planned study cohort. Composite suicidality scores were significantly worse in the control than intervention group at endpoint (0.05±0.54 vs. 0.17±0.47, t= -2.60, df=428, p=0.01). There were also significant improvements in LPI and RCADS scores in the intervention group compared to controls (LPI:-3.74±7.98 vs. 1.16±10.77 t=5.28, df=428, p<.001; RCADS: (-3.08±5.49 vs. -1.51±6.53 t=2.96, df=429, p=0.01). Sub-analyses revealed that these improvements were largely driven by a significant difference in scores in girls. LIMITATIONS: Sample size constraints as study terminated prematurely during COVID pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates significant improvement in suicidality, emotional regulation, self-concept, interpersonal difficulties, depression and anxiety in youth, particularly girls following this intervention. Replication studies in larger samples are needed to confirm these results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Suicide , Adolescent , Canada , Child , Curriculum , Depression/therapy , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
12.
Wellcome Open Research ; 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-827190

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.

14.
Sci Data ; 7(1): 285, 2020 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733508

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have implemented a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Monitoring and documenting government strategies during the COVID-19 crisis is crucial to understand the progression of the epidemic. Following a content analysis strategy of existing public information sources, we developed a specific hierarchical coding scheme for NPIs. We generated a comprehensive structured dataset of government interventions and their respective timelines of implementation. To improve transparency and motivate collaborative validation process, information sources are shared via an open library. We also provide codes that enable users to visualise the dataset. Standardization and structure of the dataset facilitate inter-country comparison and the assessment of the impacts of different NPI categories on the epidemic parameters, population health indicators, the economy, and human rights, among others. This dataset provides an in-depth insight of the government strategies and can be a valuable tool for developing relevant preparedness plans for pandemic. We intend to further develop and update this dataset until the end of December 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Government , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
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