Sleep disturbances, fear, and generalized anxiety during the COVID-19 shut down phase in Germany: relation to infection rates, deaths, and German stock index DAX

Abstract:

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

Citation: Sleep Medicine 75:350-353

Date Published: 1st Nov 2020

Registered Mode: by DOI

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

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Hetkamp, M., Schweda, A., Bäuerle, A., Weismüller, B., Kohler, H., Musche, V., … Skoda, E.-M. (2020). Sleep disturbances, fear, and generalized anxiety during the COVID-19 shut down phase in Germany: relation to infection rates, deaths, and German stock index DAX. Sleep Medicine, 75, 350–353. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2020.08.033
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Created: 2nd Mar 2021 at 08:57

Last updated: 2nd Mar 2021 at 08:58

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