Longitudinal evaluation of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Spain

TitleLongitudinal evaluation of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Spain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsPlanchuelo-Gómez, Á., P. Odriozola-González, M. Jesús Irurtia, and R. de Luis-García
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
KeywordsAnxiety, COVID-19, Depression, Longitudinal study, Post-traumatic, Psychological, Stress, Stress disorders

Background: Strict confinement and social distancing measures have been imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries. The aim was to assess the temporal evolution of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown from two surveys, separated by one month, performed in Spain.
Methods: Symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, and the psychological impact of the situation were longitudinally analyzed using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and the Impact of Event Scale (IES) respectively.
Results: There was a total of 4,724 responses from both surveys. Symptomatic scores of anxiety, depression and stress were exhibited by 37.22%, 46.42% and 49.66% of the second survey respondents, showing a significant increase compared to the first survey (32.45%, 44.11% and 37.01%, respectively). There was no significant longitudinal change of the IES scores, with 48.30% of the second survey participants showing moderate to severe impact of the confinement. Constant news consumption about COVID-19 was found to be positively associated with symptomatic scores in the different scales, and daily physical activity to be negatively associated with DASS-21 scores.
Conclusions: Results indicated a temporal increase of anxiety, depression and stress scores during the COVID-19 lockdown. Factors such as age, consumption of information about COVID-19 and physical activity seem to have an important impact on the evolution of psychological symptoms.