Increased Psychological Distress during COVID-19 and Quarantine in Ireland: A national survey.

Tom Burke, Anna Berry, Laura K. Taylor, Owen Stafford, Eddie Murphy, M Shevlin, Louise McHugh, Alan Carr

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The emergence of the coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) resulted in a global pandemic. The psychological impact of an epidemic is multifaceted and acute, with long-term consequences. A cross-sectional online survey-based design was employed, assessing the psychological impact of COVID-19 on members of the Irish public during the quarantine period of COVID-19 in Ireland. Participants were invited to complete the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) retrospectively (prior to quarantine) and during the quarantine period, as well as measures of illness perceptions, well-being, and a bespoke measure (the Effects of COVID Questionnaire, ECQ), which assessed perceptions of COVID-related stresses associated with personal concerns, caring for children, caring for aging parents, as well as gratitude. A total of = 1620 entered the survey platform, with a total of = 847 surveys completed by members of the Irish public. Entry into COVID-19 quarantine was associated with significant increases in clinically significant symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety. The ECQ reliably assessed a range of COVID-19-related stresses and had large and significant correlations with the DASS-21. The COVID-19 quarantine was associated with stresses and significant increases in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in a national Irish cohort. The public require increased access to mental health services to meet this increase in COVID-19-related psychological distress.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Issue number11
Early online date28 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 28 Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Ireland
  • mental health
  • psychological distress
  • public
  • quarantine


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