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The Effect of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Wellbeing in a Representative Sample of Australian Adults

Dawel, Amy; Shou, Yiyun; Smithson, Michael; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Banfield, Michelle; Calear, Alison; Farrer, Louise; Gray, Darren; Gulliver, Amelia; Housen, Tambri; McCallum, Sonia; Morse, Alyssa Rhiannon; Murray, Kristen; Newman, Eryn; Rodney Harris, Rachael; Batterham, Philip

Description

There is minimal knowledge about the impact of large-scale epidemics on community mental health, particularly during the acute phase. This gap in knowledge means we are critically ill-equipped to support communities as they face the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to provide data urgently needed to inform government policy and resource allocation now and in other future crises. The study was the first to survey a representative sample from the Australian population at the...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDawel, Amy
dc.contributor.authorShou, Yiyun
dc.contributor.authorSmithson, Michael
dc.contributor.authorCherbuin, Nicolas
dc.contributor.authorBanfield, Michelle
dc.contributor.authorCalear, Alison
dc.contributor.authorFarrer, Louise
dc.contributor.authorGray, Darren
dc.contributor.authorGulliver, Amelia
dc.contributor.authorHousen, Tambri
dc.contributor.authorMcCallum, Sonia
dc.contributor.authorMorse, Alyssa Rhiannon
dc.contributor.authorMurray, Kristen
dc.contributor.authorNewman, Eryn
dc.contributor.authorRodney Harris, Rachael
dc.contributor.authorBatterham, Philip
dc.date.accessioned2021-02-15T23:05:36Z
dc.date.available2021-02-15T23:05:36Z
dc.identifier.issn1664-0640
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/222899
dc.description.abstractThere is minimal knowledge about the impact of large-scale epidemics on community mental health, particularly during the acute phase. This gap in knowledge means we are critically ill-equipped to support communities as they face the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to provide data urgently needed to inform government policy and resource allocation now and in other future crises. The study was the first to survey a representative sample from the Australian population at the early acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression, anxiety, and psychological wellbeing were measured with well-validated scales (PHQ-9, GAD-7, WHO-5). Using linear regression, we tested for associations between mental health and exposure to COVID-19, impacts of COVID-19 on work and social functioning, and socio-demographic factors. Depression and anxiety symptoms were substantively elevated relative to usual population data, including for individuals with no existing mental health diagnosis. Exposure to COVID-19 had minimal association with mental health outcomes. Recent exposure to the Australian bushfires was also unrelated to depression and anxiety, although bushfire smoke exposure correlated with reduced psychological wellbeing. In contrast, pandemic-induced impairments in work and social functioning were strongly associated with elevated depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as decreased psychological wellbeing. Financial distress due to the pandemic, rather than job loss per se, was also a key correlate of poorer mental health. These findings suggest that minimizing disruption to work and social functioning, and increasing access to mental health services in the community, are important policy goals to minimize pandemic-related impacts on mental health and wellbeing. Innovative and creative strategies are needed to meet these community needs while continuing to enact vital public health strategies to control the spread of COVID-19.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was funded by the ANU College of Health andMedicine, ANU Research School of Psychology, and ANU Research School of Population Health. PJB is supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship 1158707. ALC is supported byNHMRC Fellowships 1122544 and 1173146. LMFis supported by Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (ARC DECRA) DE190101382. YS is supported by ARC DECRA DE180100015. AG and ARM are supported by funding provided by the ACT Health Directorate for ACACIA: The ACT Consumer and Carer Mental Health Research Unit.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherFrontiers Research Foundation
dc.rights© 2020 Dawel, Shou, Smithson, Cherbuin, Banfield, Calear, Farrer, Gray, Gulliver, Housen, McCallum, Morse, Murray, Newman, Rodney Harris and Batterham.
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.sourceFrontiers in Psychiatry
dc.subjectcoronavirus
dc.subjectCOVID-19
dc.subjectbushfire
dc.subjectmental health
dc.subjectanxiety
dc.subjectdepression
dc.subjectfinancial strain
dc.titleThe Effect of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Wellbeing in a Representative Sample of Australian Adults
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume11
dc.date.issued2020
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4102339xPUB524
local.publisher.urlhttp://frontiersin.org/Psychiatry
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationDawel, Amy, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationShou, Yiyun, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationSmithson, Michael, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCherbuin, Nicolas, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationBanfield, Michelle, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCalear, Alison, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationFarrer, Louise, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationGray, Darren, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationGulliver, Amelia, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHousen, Tambri, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMcCallum, Sonia, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMorse, Alyssa, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMurray, Kristen, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationNewman, Eryn, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationRodney Harris, Rachael, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationBatterham, Philip, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1122544
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DE190101382
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DE180100015
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage8
local.identifier.doi10.3389/fpsyt.2020.579985
local.identifier.absseo920408 - Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
dc.date.updated2020-11-08T07:21:34Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenanceThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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