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Minerva Psychiatry 2021 June;62(2):74-8

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6612.21.02147-6

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and suicide ideation in community adults in Portugal: preliminary data

Rui C. CAMPOS 1 , Ronald R. HOLDEN 2, Alexandra MEDINA PEREIRA 3

1 Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Research Center on Education and Psychology (CIEP-UE), University of Évora, Évora, Portugal; 2 Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada; 3 Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Évora, Évora, Portugal



BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency in Portugal and the contribution of several socio-demographic and clinical variables, including having had a psychiatric diagnosis, on suicide ideation. Further, we tested whether the perceived impact of the pandemic mediated the association between having had a psychiatric diagnosis and suicide ideation.
METHODS: A sample of 227 Portuguese community adults (183 women, 44 men) participated online.
RESULTS: Low education, having had a psychiatric diagnosis, and the perceived psychological impact of the pandemic each related to the presence of suicide ideation. Perceived psychological impact partially mediated the association between having had a psychiatric diagnosis and suicide ideation, as indexed by the total score on the Suicide Ideation Scale.
CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with a psychiatric diagnosis, with a lower education level, and with a perceived psychological impact of the pandemic are at greater risk for experiencing suicide ideation, and psychological impact appears to be stronger for persons with a psychiatric diagnosis and, thus, resulting in more suicide ideation. A potential limitation was the use of only three items for assessing the impact of the pandemic.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Pandemics; Suicide; Mental disorders

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