1 in 3 adults experienced serious psychological distress as a result of COVID-19

The study was conducted at Duke-NUS Medical School.

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As part of a study conducted at Duke-NUS Medical School, a team of researchers revealed that one in three adults have exhibited serious psychological distress as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll.

In PLOS One, researchers describe how 68 studies were examined to assess over 280,000 participants from various nations, to best understand what psychological implications have arisen from COVID-19.

Women, particularly young female adults, were regarded among the highest prevalence of participants who experienced such adversities. Specifically, the two conditions most exhibited in the study were depression and anxiety.

The lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the prevalence of mental illness, the findings also indicated.

“We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and World Health Organization COVID-19 databases (Dec 2019–15 July 2020),” said Yeli Wang, and her fellow colleagues, in the published study.

“We included cross-sectional studies that reported factors associated with psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary outcomes were self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

The results point to an urgency for interventions targetting mental health problems in the general population. The COVID-19 pandemic has already purportedly surpassed a count of confirmed cases well in the hundreds of millions and an estimated death toll also in the millions.

“Our findings highlight the urgent need for offering mental health services and interventions to target high-risk populations to reduce socioeconomic and gender disparities of psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic globally,” the authors warned in their findings.

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