Mental Health during a COVID-19 Lockdown Over the Christmas Period in Austria
17 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 26, 2021
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic a decline in mental health has been reported across a range of countries and demographic groups. This study aimed to assess the mental health of a representative sample in Austria over the Christmas holiday period, during which a second lockdown was taking place. We surveyed 1505 participants through Qualtrics between 23rd December 2020 and 4th January 2021 and measured levels of depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep quality (ISI), well-being (WHO-5), quality of life (WHO-QOL) and stress (PSS-10). 26% of participants scored above the cut-off for moderate depressive symptoms, 23% above the cut-off for moderate anxiety and 18% above the cut-off for insomnia. Additionally, we observed relatively poor well-being and quality of life as compared to both the first lockdown earlier in 2020 and pre-pandemic data. Further analyses indicate these findings were especially apparent for the under 24-year-olds, women, single/separated people, low incomes and those who do not partake in any physical activity (all p-values <0.05). We highlight the need for ongoing mental health support, particularly to the most burdened groups.
Keywords: Mental health, depression, anxiety, insomnia, COVID-19
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