Increased psychological well-being after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic

The corona crisis appears to have had a negative impact on the mental health of the Danish population, but research from Aarhus University shows that the psychological well-being had improved already by the end of April
17-Jul-2020 8:45 PM EDT, by Aarhus University

Newswise — Concern over the risk of infection and financial strain. More people will develop stress, irritability, anxiety and depression...

Expectations for our mental health during and after the corona lockdown were pessimistic, but thus far the situation has not turned out to be quite as bad as feared. Danes, and in particular Danish women, appear to have reacted with reduced psychological well-being as the infection rate and death toll peaked in the beginning of April. But already three weeks later, the general psychological well-being - as measured by the World Health Organization's well-being index, WHO-5 - had moved in a positive direction.

This is shown in a recent survey by a research group, which includes Søren Dinesen Østergaard who is professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark, and affiliated with the Department of Affective Disorders at Aarhus University Hospital - Psychiatry.

"The proportion of Danes with a well-being index of 80 or above, which is a sign of great thriving, grew from 22 per cent at the end of March/beginning of April to 28 per cent three weeks later, i.e. at the end of April, when the same people were asked again. This seems consistent with the development of the pandemic in Denmark between the two rounds of the survey. Namely, a significant decline in the rate of infection and the number of corona-related deaths, which led to a gradual reopening of the Danish society after a long period of lockdown," says Søren Dinesen Østergaard.

The WHO-5 well-being index is also used by general practitioners to screen for depression. The WHO-5 consists of five simple questions and the resulting well-being score ranges from 0-100, where higher scores represent higher psychological well-being. If the score is below 50, it is indicative of depression.

"The proportion of respondents that scored below 50 fell from 26 per cent to 20 per cent from the first to the second round of the survey. In absolute figures, the average increase in the well-being index slightly above 3 points, which is not a big difference. However, it nevertheless shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel - and that's a story worth telling," says Søren Dinesen Østergaard.

He is pleased to be able to deliver some good news during very difficult times.

"Our results indicate a clear and plausible correlation between the intensity of the corona pandemic and the psychological well-being of the Danish population. With a bit of luck, it may also be a predictor of how things will go elsewhere, for example in the United States and in South America where the coronavirus is currently on the rise. However, not all societies resemble the Danish - and that no one knows if, when and how a potential second wave of the pandemic will affect the world," says Søren Dinesen Østergaard.

He also emphasises that the present study does not uncover how people with mental disorders, who may be a particularly vulnerable group with regard to the psychological impact of the pandemic, have fared. For this reason, his research group is currently conducting a survey specifically targeting people with contact to the mental health services. The results of this follow-up study are expected to be published later this summer.

The research results - more information:

- The study was carried out as a survey conducted by Epinion based on the WHO-5 well-being index. Epinion received payment for carrying out the survey. A total of 2458 people participated in the first wave of the survey, and 2149 from the same group also participated in the second wave of the survey. The results are weighted so that they are representative of the Danish population on a number of parameters.

- The following were partners in the project: Professor Kim Mannemar Sønderskov and Professor Peter Thisted Dinesen from the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark, and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, respectively; and Postdoc Ziggi Ivan Santini from the Department of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark.

###

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5419
Released: 15-Apr-2021 4:10 PM EDT
Penn Study Suggests Those Who Had COVID-19 May Only Need One Vaccine Dose
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

New findings from Penn suggest that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may only need a single mRNA vaccine dose. However, those who did not have COVID-19 did not have a full immune response until after a second vaccine dose, reinforcing the importance of completing the two recommended doses.

Released: 15-Apr-2021 4:00 PM EDT
June 2021 Issue of AJPH Comprises the Effects of COVID-19 on Drug Overdoses, E-cigarette Use, and Public Health Measures and Strategies
American Public Health Association (APHA)

June 2021 AJPH Issue highlights COVID-19 concerns in relation to fatal drug overdoses, drops in youth e-cigarette use, importance of public health measures, and strategies to protect correctional staff.

Newswise: 262150_web.jpg
Released: 15-Apr-2021 3:20 PM EDT
COVID-19 reduces access to opioid dependency treatment for new patients
Princeton University

COVID-19 has been associated with increases in opioid overdose deaths, which may be in part because the pandemic limited access to buprenorphine, a treatment used for opioid dependency, according to a new study led by Princeton University researchers.

Newswise: UGA to Establish National NIH-funded Center to Fight Flu
Released: 15-Apr-2021 2:45 PM EDT
UGA to Establish National NIH-funded Center to Fight Flu
University of Georgia

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Georgia a contract to establish the Center for Influenza Disease and Emergence Research (CIDER). The contract will provide $1 million in first-year funding and is expected to be supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, for seven years and up to approximately $92 million.

Released: 15-Apr-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Meatpacking plants increased COVID-19 cases in US counties
University of California, Davis

An estimated 334,000 COVID-19 cases are attributable to meatpacking plants, resulting in $11.2 billion in economic damage, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of California, Davis.

Newswise: 262052_web.jpg
Released: 15-Apr-2021 1:55 PM EDT
How to build a city that prioritizes public health
Colorado State University

Most people by now have memorized the public health guidelines meant to help minimize transmission of COVID-19: wash your hands, wear a mask, keep six feet apart from others. That part is easy.

Released: 15-Apr-2021 1:45 PM EDT
Wake Forest School of Medicine Begins Study to Test New Mask for Healthcare Workers
Wake Forest Baptist Health

Open Standard Industries, Inc. (OSI), manufacturer of the OSR-M1 non-valved reusable elastomeric face mask, is pleased to formally announce the launch of its first Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved user feasibility study. The trial is being led by the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Infectious Diseases at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health. Recruitment in the study is underway, and enrollment is expected to be completed by May 28, 2021.

Newswise: Major clinical trial to test Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine opens for enrollment at UTHealth in Houston
Released: 15-Apr-2021 1:45 PM EDT
Major clinical trial to test Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine opens for enrollment at UTHealth in Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A large national clinical trial to evaluate the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for safety and efficacy in pregnant women is now open for enrollment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Released: 15-Apr-2021 1:15 PM EDT
For veterans, a hidden side effect of COVID: Feelings of personal growth
Yale University

The U.S. military veteran population is known to have abnormally high rates of suicide, so health officials have been concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic might elevate risk of psychiatric disorders, particularly among those suffering from post-traumatic stress and related disorders.

Newswise: 262026_web.jpg
Released: 15-Apr-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Significant spread of all coronavirus variants tracked in Houston area
Elsevier

In late 2020, several concerning SARS-CoV-2 variants emerged globally. They are believed to be more easily transmissible, and there is concern that some may reduce the effectiveness of antibody treatments and vaccines.


Showing results

110 of 5419

close
1.23536