Increased generalized anxiety, depression and distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study in Germany

Abstract:

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 assess 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.

SEEK ID: https://seek.studyhub.nfdi4health.de/publications/2

DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdaa106

Projects: COVID-19 related studies and tools in Germany

Publication type: Journal

Journal: Journal of Public Health

Citation: Journal of Public Health 42(4):672-678

Date Published: 1st Dec 2020

Registered Mode: by DOI

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

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Bäuerle, A., Teufel, M., Musche, V., Weismüller, B., Kohler, H., Hetkamp, M., … Skoda, E.-M. (2020). Increased generalized anxiety, depression and distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study in Germany. Journal of Public Health, 42(4), 672–678. http://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdaa106
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Created: 2nd Mar 2021 at 08:47

Last updated: 2nd Mar 2021 at 08:51

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