Incidence of mental health diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multinational network study.

Publication date: Mar 04, 2024

Population-wide restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic may create barriers to mental health diagnosis. This study aims to examine changes in the number of incident cases and the incidence rates of mental health diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. By using electronic health records from France, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the UK and claims data from the US, this study conducted interrupted time-series analyses to compare the monthly incident cases and the incidence of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol misuse or dependence, substance misuse or dependence, bipolar disorders, personality disorders and psychoses diagnoses before (January 2017 to February 2020) and after (April 2020 to the latest available date of each database [up to November 2021]) the introduction of COVID-related restrictions. A total of 629,712,954 individuals were enrolled across nine databases. Following the introduction of restrictions, an immediate decline was observed in the number of incident cases of all mental health diagnoses in the US (rate ratios (RRs) ranged from 0. 005 to 0. 677) and in the incidence of all conditions in France, Germany, Italy and the US (RRs ranged from 0. 002 to 0. 422). In the UK, significant reductions were only observed in common mental illnesses. The number of incident cases and the incidence began to return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels in most countries from mid-2020 through 2021. Healthcare providers should be prepared to deliver service adaptations to mitigate burdens directly or indirectly caused by delays in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

Concepts Keywords
Depressive COVID-19
Germany mental health
Healthcare OHDSI
Monthly OMOP
psychiatric disorder


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO population
disease VO time
disease VO monthly
disease MESH depressive disorders
disease MESH anxiety disorders
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH dependence substance
disease MESH bipolar disorders
disease MESH personality disorders
disease MESH psychoses
disease MESH mental illnesses

Original Article

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