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Minerva Psychiatry 2021 September;62(3):140-55

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6612.21.02172-2

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health across different populations

Koyel MUKHERJEE, Swapnokalpa BANIK , Nabamita CHAKRABORTY

Department of Psychology, Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India



INTRODUCTION: The outbreak of COVID-19 and the consequential isolation measures have significantly threatened the mental well-being of the public. Previous research suggests that a pandemic may result in the lifelong prevalence of psychological morbidities.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Studies that reported the prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia as a response to the pandemic, across several populations in PubMed and ScienceDirect databases, were included. Of the 136 studies included, 45 studies were on the general population, 45 on healthcare workers, 18 on students and young adults, 9 on psychiatric patients, 3 on COVID-19 patients and 16 on other populations.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Though the results across populations were inconsistent, all populations exhibited elevated levels of depression, anxiety and associated psychological symptoms (like posttraumatic stress disorder, stress, insomnia). A comparison among the populations revealed that healthcare workers (especially frontline workers) were at the highest risk of mental health problems. Other risk factors included: being female, younger, single/divorced/widowed and having a history of mental illness.
CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 is not just a threat to physical health but also the mental health of the public. Further research is needed in this aspect. There also exists a need to identify vulnerable populations and design suitable psychological interventions.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Depression; Pandemics; Mental health

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