The impact of the covid-19 pandemic – a lot – in mental health of people. from the public. One study Do not post regularly The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, on Monday (4), that depression Worn in adults in the United States.
According to the publication, before the pandemic, 8.5% reported symptoms of depression. In 2020, that number went to 27.8% of adults with complaints related to the disease. In 2021, the index rose and reached 32.8%.
According to researcher and one of the authors of the Sandro Galea study, unlike other important events such as the Ebola outbreak, this high prevalence of people with depression does not follow the expected patterns.
said in release.
How was the study done?
The researchers’ goal was to assess whether symptoms of depression changed during the course of the pandemic, focusing on adults in the United States (over 18 years of age). In addition, the scientists wanted to identify the main risk factors for the disease.
The study, between March and April 2020, analyzed 1,441 adults in the country when the majority of the population received advice to stay at home. A year later, a second survey was conducted with the same group, from March 23 to April 19, 2021.
Both analyzes were performed using a questionnaire that identified depressive symptoms, as well as data on potential triggers for Stress Related to covid-19, such as job loss, death of relatives due to illness, financial problems, among others.
The main results of the study
As mentioned above, there was an exacerbation of depressive symptoms compared to 2020 (27.8%) and 2021 (32.8%). According to the researchers, the findings underscore the direct link between the epidemic and its short- and long-term impact on the mental health of the population.
The main causes of depression were: low family income, not being married, and the presence of multiple stressors associated with the pandemic, such as job loss and difficulties accessing day care centers.
Moreover, the results show that depression intensified throughout the epidemic and disproportionately affected low-income adults.
“The persistent and increasing prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms suggests that the epidemic’s ‘burden’ on mental health is ongoing – and has been uneven,” said Catherine Etman, lead author of the study, in a statement.
For her, economic easing and the development of vaccines against the coronavirus may have prevented worse outcomes.
Why is this study important?
This is the first national and representative study in the United States focused on examining the change in the prevalence of depression before and during COVID-19.
The results show that depressive symptoms have worsened since the beginning of the epidemic, and therefore, it is important to discuss the topic widely – especially among people on low incomes.
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