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    Assessing and protecting the mental health of the nation: A study protocol

    Hyland, Philip and Vallières, Frédérique (2021) Assessing and protecting the mental health of the nation: A study protocol. HRB Open Research, 4. p. 5. ISSN 2515-4826

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    Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the public health measures enacted to control its spread may affect the mental health of the general population of Ireland. Funded under the Health Research Board’s COVID-19 Pandemic Rapid Response Funding Call, this protocol outlines the aims of a project to assess and protect the mental health of the population of Ireland during this pandemic. We will determine (i) the prevalence of common mental health disorders at various times during the first year of the pandemic, (ii) changes in the prevalence of mental health disorders during the first year of the pandemic, (iii) if there are distinct groups of people experiencing different mental health responses to the pandemic, and (iv) the factors associated with different mental health reactions. Methods: This quantitative study uses cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. Data have been collected from a nationally representative sample of Irish adults at four assessments: Wave 1 (N = 1,041) occurred during the first week of lockdown in March 2020, Wave 2 in May, Wave 3 in August, and Wave 4 in December. Wave 5 is planned for March 2021. Participants from Wave 1 have been recontacted at each wave to produce a longitudinal dataset. New participants were recruited using quota sampling to ensure the availability of nationally representative samples at each wave. Self-report measures of demographic, economic, psychological, and mental health variables were completed. Conclusion: This design will allow us to determine whether there has been a change in mental health disorders in the general population during the first year of the pandemic, and if so, what variables are associated with changes in mental health. Results will be used to inform the government’s ongoing response to this crisis, to better protect the mental health of the nation during this and any future public health emergency

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Hyland P and Vallières F. Assessing and protecting the mental health of the nation: A study protocol [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. HRB Open Res 2021, 4:5 (
    Keywords: Mental health; covid-19;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16732
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Philip Hyland
    Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 12:40
    Journal or Publication Title: HRB Open Research
    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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