Researchers outline ways of mitigating the mental health effects of pandemic-related restrictions

At the University of Basel, researchers released their new findings in PLOS One, addressing the mental health effects of lockdown restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.


A survey was administered online in 18 languages to nearly 10,000 people, acquiring input about any mental health adversities during COVID-19 restrictions.

From the PLOS publication: “The aim of this study was to determine mental health outcomes during pandemic induced lockdowns and to examine known predictors of mental health outcomes.”

It follows by stating, “We therefore surveyed 9,565 people from 78 countries and 18 languages. Outcomes assessed were stress, depression, affect, and wellbeing. Predictors included country, sociodemographic factors, lockdown characteristics, social factors, and psychological factors.”

In the study, researchers from the University of Basel showed that 10 percent of the participants surveyed reported having suffered from low levels of mental health during the pandemic. Close to 50% reported moderate mental health, however.

As part of the findings, three predictors of mental health were established: psychologically flexible responding, social support, and education level.

According to the co-authors: “These results suggest that on whole, respondents were moderately mentally healthy at the time of a population-wide lockdown.”

“Findings suggest that public health initiatives should target people without social support and those whose finances worsen as a result of the lockdown. Interventions that promote psychological flexibility may mitigate the impact of the pandemic.”

Image courtesy of Getty Images
More Stories
DHS data shows migrant encounters are at a 21-year high at the U.S.-Mexico border