COVID-19 Pandemic and Mental Health

COVID-19 Salgını ve Ruh Sağlığı

COVID-19 (2019-nCoV), an acute respiratory tract disease with uncertain causes, is known to have occurred in Wuhan in December 2019. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a “pandemic”, when the COVID-19 virus increasingly continued to spread across the globe.

China is among the countries that have been seriously affected by COVID-19 since December 2019. In a study that aimed to analyze the mental health burden of the Chinese people, demographic data, COVID-19-related information, as well as data regarding generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), depressive symptoms, and sleep quality, were collected from 7,236 volunteers by using a web-based questionnaire.

The overall GAD prevalence, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality of the people were found as 35.1%, 20.1%, and 18.2% respectively. Significantly higher levels of prevalence of GAD and depressive symptoms were reported in the youths, compared to elderlies.

When compared to other occupational groups, it was seen that healthcare professionals were under a high risk in terms of low sleep quality.  Moreover, it was found that age (ages <35), and the time spent to focus on COVID-19 (≥ 3 hours on a daily basis) were associated with GAD.

This study determined that the people had an enormous mental health burden over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, monitoring psychological health constantly, and providing early diagnosis and early intervention opportunities for psychiatric and psychological diseases should become a routine as a part of the attempts for a worldwide preparation for diseases, which bear the potential of turning into a pandemic and which threaten the life itself.

Huang, Y., & Zhao, N. (2020). Generalized anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms and sleep quality during COVID-19 outbreak in China: a web-based cross-sectional survey. Psychiatry Research, 112954.