Mental health improvement after the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with psychological distress.

Publication date: Mar 07, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated countermeasures had an immensely disruptive impact on people’s lives. Due to the lack of systematic pre-pandemic data, however, it is still unclear how individuals’ psychological health has been affected across this incisive event. In this study, we analyze longitudinal data from two healthy samples (N = 307) to provide quasi-longitudinal insight into the full trajectory of psychological burden before (baseline), during the first peak, and at a relative downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our data indicated a medium rise in psychological strain from baseline to the first peak of the pandemic (d = 0. 40). Surprisingly, this was overcompensated by a large decrease of perceived burden until downturn (d =  - 0. 93), resulting in a positive overall effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health (d = 0. 44). Accounting for this paradoxical positive effect, our results reveal that the post-pandemic increase in mental health is driven by individuals that were already facing psychological challenges before the pandemic. These findings suggest that coping with acute challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic can stabilize previously impaired mental health through reframing processes.

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Concepts Keywords
Accounting Baseline
Covid Burden
Healthy Countermeasures
Pandemic Covid
Psychological D=0


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH psychological distress
disease VO LACK
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH infections
disease VO vaccination
disease MESH uncertainty
disease IDO local infection
disease MESH childhood trauma
disease VO time
disease MESH death
disease VO ANOVA
disease VO Gap
disease VO efficiency
disease MESH anhedonia
disease VO population
disease VO vaccinated
disease MESH mental disorders
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease MESH Social Phobia
disease IDO history
disease VO organization
drug DRUGBANK Diethylstilbestrol
disease MESH anxiety disorders
disease MESH loneliness
disease VO volume
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK L-Aspartic Acid
disease MESH syndrome
drug DRUGBANK Serine
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
pathway REACTOME Reproduction

Original Article

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