Publications

5 Publications visible to you, out of a total of 5

Abstract (Expand)

Background: Since the first cases of the novel coronavirus disease SARS-CoV-2 were reported in December 2019 in China, the virus has spread in most countries. The aim of the present study was to assesssess initial data on the mental health burden of the German public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Germany and collected complete datasets from 15 704 German residents aged 18 years and over. Besides demographics, generalized anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-2) and psychological distress (DT) were assessed. Furthermore, COVID-19-related fear, trust in governmental actions to face COVID-19 and the subjective level of information regarding COVID-19 were covered. Results: Significantly increased symptoms were highly prevalent in all dimensions: generalized anxiety (44.9%), depression (14.3%), psychological distress (65.2%) and COVID-19-related fear (59%). Females and younger people reported higher mental burden. Trust in governmental actions to face COVID-19 and the subjective level of information regarding COVID-19 are negatively associated with mental health burden. However, the subjective level of information regarding COVID-19 is positively associated with increased COVID-19-related fear. Conclusions: The provision of appropriate psychological interventions for those in need and the provision of transparency and comprehensible information are crucial during the current pandemic. Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19-related fear; depression; generalized anxiety; mental health.

Authors: Alexander Bäuerle, Martin Teufel, Venja Musche, Benjamin Weismüller, Hannah Kohler, Madeleine Hetkamp, Nora Dörrie, Adam Schweda, Eva-Maria Skoda

Date Published: 1st Dec 2020

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Background Healthcare professionals (HPs) are the key figures to keep up the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus are one of the most vulnerable groups in this. To this point, the extent of this psychological burden, especially in Europe and Germany, remains unclear. This is the first study investigating German HPs after the COVID-19 outbreak. Methods We performed an online-based cross-sectional study after the COVID-19 outbreak in Germany (10–31 March 2020). In total, 2224 HPs (physicians n = 492, nursing staff n = 1511, paramedics n = 221) and 10 639 non-healthcare professionals (nHPs) were assessed including generalized anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-2), current health status (EQ-5D-3L), COVID-19-related fear, subjective level of information regarding COVID-19. Results HPs showed less generalized anxiety, depression and COVID-19-related fear and higher health status and subjective level of information regarding COVID-19 than the nHPs. Within the HP groups, nursing staff were the most psychologically burdened. Subjective levels of information regarding COVID-19 correlated negatively with generalized anxiety levels across all groups. Among HPs, nursing staff showed the highest and paramedics the lowest generalized anxiety levels. Conclusions In the context of COVID-19, German HPs seem to be less psychological burdened than nHPs, and also less burdened compared with existing international data. Keywords COVID-19, generalized anxiety, healthcare professionals, information, psychological burden

Authors: Eva-Maria Skoda, Martin Teufel, Andreas Stang, Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Florian Junne, Benjamin Weismüller, Madeleine Hetkamp, Venja Musche, Hannah Kohler, Nora Dörrie, Adam Schweda, Alexander Bäuerle

Date Published: 1st Dec 2020

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic impacts the whole world. So far, nothing is known about the course of psychological disturbances, such as fear, anxiety, and sleep disturbances of this pandemic over time in Europe. Methods: Aim of this web-based survey was to assess the mental health burden of the German public over a period of 50 days after the COVID-19 outbreak. 16,245 individuals responded regarding sleep disturbances, COVID-19-fear, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7). Data were put in relation to infection rates, number of deaths and the German stock index. Results: The specific fear increased rapidly in concordance with infection numbers. However, no relation to the number of deaths was found, COVID-19-fear developed reversed to the stock index. Initially, 13.5% of the respondents reported a reduced sleep quality, and 7.2% a moderate generalized anxiety; proceeding simultaneously with high peaks. Finally, more than twice as many respondents showed psychological burdens. Conclusion: The COVID-19-fear decreased within six weeks to the level before the shutdown, indicating a habituation to the threatening situation. However, generalized anxiety remained elevated over time. Sleep disturbances, generalized anxiety as well as economical stock alterations develop in advance to infectiological trends which demands consequent and comprehensible information policies

Authors: Madeleine Hetkamp, Adam Schweda, Alexander Bäuerle, Benjamin Weismüller, Hannah Kohler, Venja Musche, Nora Dörrie, Christoph Schöbel, Martin Teufel, Eva-Maria Skoda

Date Published: 1st Nov 2020

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

At a time of growing governmental restrictions and ‘physical distancing’ in order to decelerate the spread of COVID-19, psychological challenges are increasing. Social media plays an important role in maintaining social contact as well as exerting political inuence. World leaders use it not only to keep citizens informed but also to boost morale and manage people’s fears. However, some leaders do not follow this approach; an example is the German Chancellor. In a large online survey, we aimed to determine levels of COVID-19 fear, generalized anxiety, depression, safety behaviour, trust in government and risk perception in Germany. A total of 12 244 respondents participated during the period of restraint and the public shutdown in March 2020. Concurrent with the German Chancellor’s speech, a reduction of anxiety and depression was noticeable in the German population. It appears that, in addition to using social media platforms like Twitter, different—and sometimes more conservative—channels for providing information can also be effective.

Authors: Martin Teufel, Adam Schweda, Nora Dörrie, Venja Musche, Madeleine Hetkamp, Benjamin Weismüller, Henrike Lenzen, Mark Stettner, Hannah Kohler, Alexander Bäuerle, Eva-Maria Skoda

Date Published: 1st Sep 2020

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Introduction: COVID-19 is causing an enormous psychological burden for most people. This study aims to assess individual changes in mental health and health status before and after the COVID-19 outbreak, and to explore potential predictors of change. Methods: A cross-sectional study in Germany (n = 15 037) were conducted. Demographics, depression and anxiety symptoms (PHQ-2, GAD-2), distress (DT), and health status (EQ-5D-3L) were assessed. Additionally, all instruments used were adapted to measure the participants’ mental health and health status before the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19- related fear, trust in governmental actions to face COVID-19, and the subjective level of information about COVID-19 were examined. Results: Overall, the participants showed a significant increase in depression and anxiety symptoms, and distress, while health status deteriorated since the COVID-19 outbreak. Impairment in mental health was predicted by COVID-19-related fear. Pre-existing mental illness predicted an increase in depression symptoms and a deterioration in health status. Trust in governmental actions and the subjective level of information predicted less increase in psychological burden. Conclusions: Our data revealed that there have been changes in mental health and health status at an individual level since the outbreak of COVID-19. In order to maintain mental health, the observed predictors should be addressed.

Authors: Alexander Bäuerle, Jasmin Steinbach, Adam Schweda, Jil Beckord, Madeleine Hetkamp, Benjamin Weismüller, Hannah Kohler, Venja Musche, Nora Dörrie, Martin Teufel, Eva-Maria Skoda

Date Published: 2020

Publication Type: Journal

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