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      The Psychological Impact of ‘Mild Lockdown’ in Japan during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Nationwide Survey under a Declared State of Emergency

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          Abstract

          This study examined the psychological distress caused by non-coercive lockdown (mild lockdown) in Japan. An online survey was conducted with 11,333 people (52.4% females; mean age = 46.3 ± 14.6 years, range = 18–89 years) during the mild lockdown in the seven prefectures most affected by COVID-19 infection. Over one-third (36.6%) of participants experienced mild-to-moderate psychological distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale [K6] score 5–12), while 11.5% reported serious psychological distress (K6 score ≥ 13). The estimated prevalence of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥ 10) was 17.9%. Regarding the distribution of K6 scores, the proportion of those with psychological distress in this study was significantly higher when compared with the previous national survey data from 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Healthcare workers, those with a history of treatment for mental illness, and younger participants (aged 18–19 or 20–39 years) showed particularly high levels of psychological distress. Psychological distress severity was influenced by specific interactional structures of risk factors: high loneliness, poor interpersonal relationships, COVID-19-related sleeplessness and anxiety, deterioration of household economy, and work and academic difficulties. Even when non-coercive lockdowns are implemented, people’s mental health should be considered, and policies to prevent mental health deterioration are needed. Cross-disciplinary public–private sector efforts tailored to each individual’s problem structure are important to address the mental health issues arising from lockdown.

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          The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure.

          While considerable attention has focused on improving the detection of depression, assessment of severity is also important in guiding treatment decisions. Therefore, we examined the validity of a brief, new measure of depression severity. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as "0" (not at all) to "3" (nearly every day). The PHQ-9 was completed by 6,000 patients in 8 primary care clinics and 7 obstetrics-gynecology clinics. Construct validity was assessed using the 20-item Short-Form General Health Survey, self-reported sick days and clinic visits, and symptom-related difficulty. Criterion validity was assessed against an independent structured mental health professional (MHP) interview in a sample of 580 patients. As PHQ-9 depression severity increased, there was a substantial decrease in functional status on all 6 SF-20 subscales. Also, symptom-related difficulty, sick days, and health care utilization increased. Using the MHP reinterview as the criterion standard, a PHQ-9 score > or =10 had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 88% for major depression. PHQ-9 scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represented mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression, respectively. Results were similar in the primary care and obstetrics-gynecology samples. In addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity. These characteristics plus its brevity make the PHQ-9 a useful clinical and research tool.
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            The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

            Summary The December, 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. We did a Review of the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included in this Review. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.
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              Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China

              Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                15 December 2020
                December 2020
                : 17
                : 24
                : 9382
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Sciences, Tokushima University, 1-1, Minamijosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan; uchiumi@ 123456tokushima-u.ac.jp
                [2 ]Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Tokushima University, 1-1, Minamijosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan; gypll.82@ 123456gmail.com
                [3 ]Graduate School of Science and Technology, NAIST, 8916-5 Takayama-cho, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan; juniti-y@ 123456is.naist.jp
                [4 ]Escuela de Medicina, División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Carr. Mérida Progreso Km. 15.5, Mérida C.P. 97310, Mexico; eric.murillo@ 123456anahuac.mx
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: t.yamamoto@ 123456tokushima-u.ac.jp ; Tel.: +81-88-656-7617
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7995-0321
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9307-3783
                Article
                ijerph-17-09382
                10.3390/ijerph17249382
                7765307
                33333893
                96f94af6-0f9b-41e1-84a7-250556826cf7
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 19 November 2020
                : 12 December 2020
                Categories
                Article

                Public health
                covid-19,pandemic,lockdown,psychological distress,mental health,depression,anxiety,loneliness,k6,phq-9
                Public health
                covid-19, pandemic, lockdown, psychological distress, mental health, depression, anxiety, loneliness, k6, phq-9

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