Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health among 157,213 Americans

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2021
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Yarrington, Julia S.
Lasser, Jana
Vargas, Jose Hamilton
Couto, Diego Dotta
Marafon, Thiago
Craske, Michelle G.
Niles, Andrea N.
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Journal of Affective Disorders. Elsevier. 2021, 286, pp. 64-70. ISSN 0165-0327. eISSN 1573-2517. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.02.056
Zusammenfassung

Background
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents an unprecedented crisis with potential negative mental health impacts.

Methods
This study used data collected via Youper, a mental health app, from February through July 2020. Youper users (N = 157,213) in the United States self-reported positive and negative emotions and anxiety and depression symptoms during the pandemic. We examined emotions and symptoms before (pre), during (acute), and after (sustained) COVID-related stay-at-home orders.

Results
For changes in frequency of reported acute emotions, from the pre to acute periods, anxiety increased while tiredness, calmness, happiness, and optimism decreased. From the acute to sustained periods, sadness, depression, and gratitude increased. Anxiety, stress, and tiredness decreased. Between the pre and sustained periods, sadness and depression increased, as did happiness and calmness. Anxiety and stress decreased. Among symptom measures, anxiety increased initially, from the pre to the acute periods, but later returned to baseline.

Limitations
The study sample was primarily comprised of young people and women. The app does not collect racial or ethnicity data. These factors may limit generalizability. Sample size was also not consistent for all data collected.

Conclusions
The present study suggests that although there were initial negative impacts on emotions and mental health symptoms in the first few weeks, many Americans demonstrated resilience over the following months. The impact of the pandemic on mental health may not be as severe as predicted, although future work is necessary to understand longitudinal effects as the pandemic continues.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
320 Politik
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pandemic, mental health, depression, anxiety
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ISO 690YARRINGTON, Julia S., Jana LASSER, David GARCIA, Jose Hamilton VARGAS, Diego Dotta COUTO, Thiago MARAFON, Michelle G. CRASKE, Andrea N. NILES, 2021. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health among 157,213 Americans. In: Journal of Affective Disorders. Elsevier. 2021, 286, pp. 64-70. ISSN 0165-0327. eISSN 1573-2517. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.02.056
BibTex
@article{Yarrington2021Impac-59920,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1016/j.jad.2021.02.056},
  title={Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health among 157,213 Americans},
  volume={286},
  issn={0165-0327},
  journal={Journal of Affective Disorders},
  pages={64--70},
  author={Yarrington, Julia S. and Lasser, Jana and Garcia, David and Vargas, Jose Hamilton and Couto, Diego Dotta and Marafon, Thiago and Craske, Michelle G. and Niles, Andrea N.}
}
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