Unfolding the Reality of the Pandemic: A Comparative Study of Changes in Mental Health Before and During the Pandemic

dc.contributorPrice, Daniel M.
dc.contributor.authorKashyap, Shourya
dc.contributor.authorShukla, Khushboo
dc.description.abstractThe SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has been unfolding since the past year and has revolutionized society. The implementation of mask mandates, quarantines and social distancing measures have affected many dimensions of public health. Statistical studies analyzing the impact of the pandemic on mental health began when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11th 2020 (1). Previous studies focused on adapting established tests such as a 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4), a 2-item depression scale (PHQ-2), and a 7-item anxiety scale (GAD-7) to understand how people have felt before the pandemic began and during its earlier stages. Between 24 February and 3 March 2021, we conducted a survey to develop a stronger understanding of self reported stressors and changes in overall quality of life compared to pre-pandemic times, nearly one year since the pandemic began. Our anonymous virtual survey adapted information from PHQ-4, PHQ-2, GAD-7, and PHQ-9, alongside demographic information and other self-report scales. We found that 64.0% of US adult respondents (n = 483) reported having depression and/or anxiety symptoms, a 33.0% increase from reports in late June 2020 (2). Additionally, 53.6% of US respondents that reported being calm or very calm prior to the pandemic (n = 151) reported being stressed or very stressed now. As our results depicted, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health is growing rapidly. Therefore, it is crucial to continue periodic assessments of COVID-19 on public health even after humanity moves past this pandemic.
dc.description.departmentHonors College
dc.relation.ispartofSummer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.titleUnfolding the Reality of the Pandemic: A Comparative Study of Changes in Mental Health Before and During the Pandemic


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