Background. This study aimed at assessing the mental health status of adults living in Portugal during the national lockdown of March 2020 to May 2020, how study participants coped with stress during the national lockdown, as well as the association between coping responses and mental health status.
Methods. 430 adults from the general population living in Portugal completed measures of mental health status and coping.
Results. Participants reported a mental health status in the normal range. Most commonly used coping responses were acceptance, planning and active coping. The use of instrumental and emotional support, self-blame, venting, denial, behavioural disengagement, and substance use were associated with poorer mental health. Active coping, positive reframing, acceptance, and humour were associated with better mental health. However, only positive reframing and humour significantly predicted better mental health, while only substance use predicted poorer mental health.
Conclusions. Findings suggest that there was not a significant negative impact of the Portuguese national lockdown in the adults living in Portugal. Findings supported positive reframing and humour as being adaptive coping responses in this context.
These responses should be encouraged by healthcare professionals and targeted in the context of psychosocial intervention programs directed to most vulnerable populations.