Background: Public health recommendations and government measures during the COVID-19 pandemic have enforced restrictions on daily-living. While these measures are imperative to abate the spreading of COVID-19, the impact of these restrictions on mental health and emotional wellbeing is undefined. Therefore, an international online survey (ECLB-COVID19) was launched on April 6, 2020 in seven languages to elucidate the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Methods: The ECLB-COVID19 electronic survey was designed by a steering group of multidisciplinary scientists, following a structured review of the literature. The survey was uploaded and shared on the Google online-survey-platform and was promoted by thirty-five research organizations from Europe, North-Africa, Western-Asia and the Americas. All participants were asked for their mental wellbeing (SWEMWS) and depressive symptoms (SMFQ) with regard to "during"and "before"home confinement.
Results: Analysis was conducted on the first 1047 replies (54% women) from Asia (36%), Africa (40%), Europe (21%) and other (3%). The COVID-19 home confinement had a negative effect on both mental-wellbeing and on mood and feelings. Specifically, a significant decrease (p < .001 and Δ% = 9.4%) in total score of the SWEMWS questionnaire was noted. More individuals (+12.89%) reported a low mental wellbeing "during"compared to "before"home confinement. Furthermore, results from the mood and feelings questionnaire showed a significant increase by 44.9% (p < .001) in SMFQ total score with more people (+10%) showing depressive symptoms "during"compared to "before"home confinement.
Conclusion: The ECLB-COVID19 survey revealed an increased psychosocial strain triggered by the home confinement. To mitigate this high risk of mental disorders and to foster an Active and Healthy Confinement Lifestyle (AHCL), a crisis-oriented interdisciplinary intervention is urgently needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)