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      Risk, resilience, psychological distress, and anxiety at the beginning of the COVID‐19 pandemic in Germany

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          Abstract

          Background

          The current COVID‐19 pandemic comes with multiple psychological stressors due to health‐related, social, economic, and individual consequences and may cause psychological distress. The aim of this study was to screen the population in Germany for negative impact on mental health in the current COVID‐19 pandemic and to analyze possible risk and protective factors.

          Methods

          A total of 6,509 people took part in an online survey in Germany from 27 March to 6 April. The questionnaire included demographic information and ascertained psychological distress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and risk and protective factors.

          Results

          In our sample, over 50% expressed suffering from anxiety and psychological distress regarding the COVID‐19 pandemic. Participants spent several hours per day thinking about COVID‐19 ( M = 4.45). Psychological and social determinants showed stronger associations with anxiety regarding COVID‐19 than experiences with the disease.

          Conclusions

          The current COVID‐19 pandemic does cause psychological distress, anxiety, and depression for large proportions of the general population. Strategies such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and social contacts, acceptance of anxiety and negative emotions, fostering self‐efficacy, and information on where to get medical treatment if needed, seem of help, while substance abuse and suppression of anxiety and negative emotions seem to be associated with more psychological burden.

          Abstract

          The aim of this study was to screen the population in Germany for negative impact on mental health in the current COVID‐19 pandemic and to analyze possible risk and protective factors. A total of 6,509 people took part in an online survey. Over 50% expressed suffering from anxiety and psychological distress regarding the COVID‐19 pandemic. Participants spent several hours per day thinking about COVID‐19. Psychological and social determinants showed stronger associations with anxiety regarding COVID‐19 than experiences with the disease.

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          Most cited references21

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          Is Open Access

          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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            A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: implications and policy recommendations

            The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic emerged in Wuhan, China, spread nationwide and then onto half a dozen other countries between December 2019 and early 2020. The implementation of unprecedented strict quarantine measures in China has kept a large number of people in isolation and affected many aspects of people’s lives. It has also triggered a wide variety of psychological problems, such as panic disorder, anxiety and depression. This study is the first nationwide large-scale survey of psychological distress in the general population of China during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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              A Longitudinal Study on the Mental Health of General Population during the COVID-19 Epidemic in China

              Highlights • A significant reduction in psychological impact 4 weeks after COVID outbreak. • The mean scores of respondents in both surveys were above PTSD cut-offs. • Female gender, physical symptoms associated with a higher psychological impact. • Hand hygiene, mask-wearing & confidence in doctors reduced psychological impact. • Online trauma-focused psychotherapy may be helpful to public during COVID-19.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                moritz.petzold@charite.de
                Journal
                Brain Behav
                Brain Behav
                10.1002/(ISSN)2157-9032
                BRB3
                Brain and Behavior
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                2162-3279
                07 July 2020
                : e01745
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt‐Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health Berlin Germany
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Moritz Petzold, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Mitte, Charité ‐ Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

                Email: moritz.petzold@ 123456charite.de

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7801-1434
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3789-6205
                Article
                BRB31745
                10.1002/brb3.1745
                7361063
                32633464
                cbc4e0ed-73cc-46e2-ab6d-11a9600f0271
                © 2020 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 05 May 2020
                : 09 June 2020
                : 19 June 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 10, Words: 13747
                Categories
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                corrected-proof
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.5 mode:remove_FC converted:15.07.2020

                Neurosciences
                adjustment disorders,anxiety/anxiety disorders,coping,corona,depression
                Neurosciences
                adjustment disorders, anxiety/anxiety disorders, coping, corona, depression

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