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    A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies comparing mental health before versus during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

    Robinson, Eric and Sutin, Angelina R. and Daly, Michael and Jones, Andrew (2022) A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies comparing mental health before versus during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Journal of Affective Disorders, 296. pp. 567-576. ISSN 0165-0327

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    Background: Increases in mental health problems have been observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ob- jectives were to examine the extent to which mental health symptoms changed during the pandemic in 2020, whether changes were persistent or short lived, and if changes were symptom specific. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies examining changes in mental health among the same group of participants before vs. during the pandemic in 2020. Results: Sixty-five studies were included. Compared to pre-pandemic outbreak, there was an overall increase in mental health symptoms observed during March-April 2020 (SMC = .102 [95% CI: .026 to .192]) that signifi- cantly declined over time and became non-significant (May-July SMC = .067 [95% CI: -.022 to .157]. Compared to measures of anxiety (SMC = 0.13, p = 0.02) and general mental health (SMC = -.03, p = 0.65), increases in depression and mood disorder symptoms tended to be larger and remained significantly elevated in May-July [0.20, 95% CI: .099 to .302]. In primary analyses increases were most pronounced among samples with phys- ical health conditions and there was no evidence of any change in symptoms among samples with a pre-existing mental health condition. Limitations: There was a high degree of unexplained heterogeneity observed (I2s > 90%), indicating that change in mental health was highly variable across samples. Conclusions: There was a small increase in mental health symptoms soon after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that decreased and was comparable to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2020 among most population sub-groups and symptom types.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Mental health; Longitudinal; Depression; Anxiety
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15577
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael Daly
    Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2022 15:17
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Affective Disorders
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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