Anxiety, Depression, Traumatic Stress, and COVID-19 Related Anxiety in the UK General Population During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

M Shevlin, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy, Jilly Gibson Miller, Todd K Hartman, Liat Levita, Liam Mason, Anton P Martinez, Ryan McKay, Thomas VA Stocks, Kate M Bennett, Philip Hyland, Thanos Karatzias, Richard Bentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract
Background
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis necessitating drastic changes to living conditions, social-life, personal freedom and economic activity. No study has yet examined the presence of psychiatric symptoms in the UK population in similar conditions.
Aims
We investigated the prevalence of COVID-19 related anxiety, generalised anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms in the UK population during an early phase of the pandemic, and estimated associations with variables likely to influence these symptoms.
Method
Between 23rd and 28th March 2020, a quota sample of 2025 UK adults 18 years and older, stratified by age, sex and household income, was recruited by online survey company Qualtrics. Participants completed standardised measures of depression, generalised anxiety, and trauma symptoms relating to the pandemic. Bivariate and multivariate associations were calculated for demographic and health related variables.
Results
Higher levels of anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms were reported compared to previous population studies, but not dramatically so. Anxiety or depression, and trauma symptoms were predicted by young age, presence of children in the home, and high estimates of personal risk. Anxiety and depression were also predicted by low income, loss of income, and pre-existing health conditions in self and other. Specific anxiety about COVID-19 was greater in older participants.
Conclusions
This study showed a modest increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in the early stages of the pandemic and these were predicted by several specific COVID-related variables. Further similar surveys, particularly of those with children at home, are required as the pandemic progresses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e125
JournalBJPsych Open
Volume6
Issue number6
Early online date19 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic,
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Traumatic Stress,
  • UK general population survey

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    Shevlin, M., McBride, O., Murphy, J., Gibson Miller, J., Hartman, T. K., Levita, L., Mason, L., Martinez, A. P., McKay, R., Stocks, T. VA., Bennett, K. M., Hyland, P., Karatzias, T., & Bentall, R. (2020). Anxiety, Depression, Traumatic Stress, and COVID-19 Related Anxiety in the UK General Population During the COVID-19 Pandemic. BJPsych Open, 6(6), e125. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.109