Dragioti E, Li H, Tsitsas G, Lee KH, Choi J, Kim J, Choi YJ, Tsamakis K, Estradé A, Agorastos A, Vancampfort D, Tsiptsios D, Thompson T, Mosina A, Vakadaris G, Fusar-Poli P, Carvalho AF, Correll CU, Han YJ, Park S, Il Shin J, Solmi M
J Med Virol - (-) - [2021-12-27; online 2021-12-27]
The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions can impact mental health. In order to quantify the mental health burden of COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, searching World Health Organization COVID-19/PsycInfo/PubMed databases (09/29/2020), including observational studies reporting on mental health outcomes in any population affected by COVID-19. Primary outcomes were the prevalence of anxiety, depression, stress, sleep problems, post-traumatic symptoms. Sensitivity analyses were conducted on severe mental health problems, in high-quality studies, and in representative samples. Subgroup analyses were conducted stratified by age, sex, country income level, and COVID-19 infection status. One-hundred-seventy-three studies from February-July 2020 were included (n=502,261, median sample=948, age=34.4 years, females=63%). Ninety-one percent were cross-sectional studies, and 18.5%/57.2% were of high/moderate quality. Highest prevalence emerged for post-traumatic symptoms in COVID-19 infected people (94%), followed by behavioural problems in those with prior mental disorders (77%), fear in healthcare workers (71%), anxiety in caregivers/family members of people with COVID-19 (42%), general health/social contact/passive coping style in the general population (38%), depression in those with prior somatic disorders (37%), and fear in other-than-healthcare workers (29%). Females and people with COVID-19 infection had higher rates of almost all outcomes; college students/young adults of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, suicidal ideation; adults of fear and post-traumatic symptoms. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic symptoms were more prevalent in low-/middle-income countries, sleep problems in high-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacts mental health in unique manners across population subgroups. Our results inform tailored preventive strategies and interventions to mitigate current, future, and transgenerational adverse mental health of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.