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Modelling Changes in Anxiety-Depression and Traumatic Stress During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the UK: Evidence for Population Heterogeneity in Longitudinal Change

25 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2021

See all articles by Mark Shevlin

Mark Shevlin

Ulster University at Coleraine - School of Psychology

Sarah Butter

Sheffield University

Orla McBride

Ulster University

Jamie Murphy

Ulster University

Jilly Gibson-Miller

University of Sheffield

Todd K. Hartman

Sheffield Methods Institute

Liat Levita

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology

Liam Mason

University College London

Anton P. Martinez

University of Sheffield

Ryan McKay

University of London - Royal Holloway

Thomas V.A. Stocks

Sheffield University

Kate Bennett

University of Liverpool

Philip Hyland

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University) - Department of Psychology

Richard P. Bentall

University of Sheffield

More...

Abstract

Background: Research is needed to examine change in general population mental health since the beginning of the pandemic, while accounting for heterogeneity in mental health response.

Methods: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, nationally representative, internet-based survey of UK adults. The current study analysed data from its first three waves of data collection: Wave 1 (March 2020, N =2025), Wave 2 (April 2020, N =1406) and Wave 3 (July 2020, N =1166). Anxiety-depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (a composite measure of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) and COVID-19 related PTSD with the International Trauma Questionnaire. Changes in mental health outcomes were modelled across the three waves. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with different trajectories of change in anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Latent class membership was regressed on baseline characteristics.

Outcomes: Overall prevalence of anxiety-depression remained stable, while COVID-19 PTSD reduced between Waves 2 and 3. Heterogeneity in mental health response was found, and hypothesised classes reflecting (i) stability, (ii) improvement, and (iii) deterioration in mental health were identified. Psychological factors were most likely to differentiate the improving, deteriorating and high-stable classes from the low-stable mental health trajectories.

Interpretation: A low-stable profile characterised by little-to-no psychological distress (‘resilient’ class) was the most common trajectory for both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Monitoring of these trajectories is necessary moving forward, in particular for the ~30% of individuals with increasing levels of anxiety-depression.

Funding Statement: Economic and Social Research Council (ES/V004379/1).

Declaration of Interests: We declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval was granted by the University of Sheffield (Ref. 033759). All participants provided informed consent.

Suggested Citation

Shevlin, Mark and Butter, Sarah and McBride, Orla and Murphy, Jamie and Gibson-Miller, Jilly and Hartman, Todd K. and Levita, Liat and Mason, Liam and Martinez, Anton P. and McKay, Ryan and Stocks, Thomas V.A. and Bennett, Kate and Hyland, Philip and Bentall, Richard P., Modelling Changes in Anxiety-Depression and Traumatic Stress During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the UK: Evidence for Population Heterogeneity in Longitudinal Change. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3749211 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3749211

Mark Shevlin (Contact Author)

Ulster University at Coleraine - School of Psychology ( email )

Cromore Road
Coleraine, BT52 1SA
Northern Ireland
0044 (0)28 7012 3141 (Phone)

Sarah Butter

Sheffield University ( email )

Bartolomé House
Winter Street
Sheffield, S3 7ND
United Kingdom

Orla McBride

Ulster University

Northland Road
Londonderry, BT48 7JL
Northern Ireland

Jamie Murphy

Ulster University

Northland Road
Londonderry, BT48 7JL
Northern Ireland

Jilly Gibson-Miller

University of Sheffield

17 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Todd K. Hartman

Sheffield Methods Institute ( email )

219 Portobello Street
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield, S Yorkshire S1 4DP
United Kingdom
+44 114 222 7122 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://tkhartman.staff.shef.ac.uk/

Liat Levita

University of Sheffield - Department of Psychology ( email )

Sheffield S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Liam Mason

University College London

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Anton P. Martinez

University of Sheffield ( email )

17 Mappin Street
Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Ryan McKay

University of London - Royal Holloway

Egham Hill
Egham, TW20 0EX

Thomas V.A. Stocks

Sheffield University

Bartolomé House
Winter Street
Sheffield, S3 7ND
United Kingdom

Kate Bennett

University of Liverpool

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

Philip Hyland

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University) - Department of Psychology

Maynooth
Ireland

Richard P. Bentall

University of Sheffield ( email )

17 Mappin Street
Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT
United Kingdom

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