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Mental health of Covid-19 risk groups during the first Covid-19 lockdown in Germany: a cross-sectional study

  • Background The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic not only threatens physical health, but also affects the mental health of people. Yet, health consequences of the pandemic do not affect all members of society equally. We therefore assessed the mental health burden of individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 compared to individuals who are at low risk of severe illness during the first lockdown (March, 2020) in Germany. Furthermore, we investigated variables mediating the effect of being an individual at increased risk of serve illness on depression. Methods Adult German residents (n = 2.369) provided responses to a cross-sectional online survey about risk factors for of severe illness from Covid-19 and various aspects of mental health during the first lockdown in Germany. For data collection, standardized and validated self-report measures were used and for data analysis Mann-Whitney U-tests as well as regression and mediation analyses were performed. Results The results clearly show that the mental health burden is higher among individuals at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 compared to individuals at low risk of severe illness from Covid-19. Moreover, our findings indicate that the association between Covid-19 risk status and depressive symptoms is mediated by concerns about mental health, anxiety and loneliness in a causal effect chain. Conclusions Individuals at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 have an increased need for psychosocial support during times of lockdown. Future public health policies should pay special attention to these individuals and support them by targeted offers. More research, however, is needed on possible long-term consequences of social distancing on mental health.

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Verfasserangaben:Daniel DeimelORCiD, Thorsten Köhler, Janina DybaORCiD, Niels Graf, Christine FirkORCiD
Titel des übergeordneten Werkes (Englisch):BMC Public Health
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2022
Datum der Freischaltung:19.01.2024
Freies Schlagwort / Tag:Covid-19-Risikogruppe; Mentale Gesundheit
Covid-19; Covid-19 risk group; Germany; Mental health; Pandemic
GND-Schlagwort:COVID-19; COVID-19-Pandemie; Deutschland; Risikogruppe; Mentaler Zustand
DDC-Sachgruppen:300 Sozialwissenschaften
Zugriffsrecht:Frei zugänglich
Hochschulen:Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln
Lizenz (Deutsch):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International