In a surprise study, researchers said that people’s mental health fared fairly well over the course of Covid 19 pandemic, which until now was believed to have major impact on the mental health.
The report, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ, analyzed 137 studies from around the world and found that in general, people’s mental health did not show large changes before and after the pandemic.
In the study paper, the researchers said that the effects of COVID-19on mental health are more nuanced than the ‘tsunami’ descriptor or other similar terms used by some investigators and in many media articles. They mentioned that there has been a high level of resilience rather than a mental health crisis at a population level.
The researchers looked at studies conducted between 2018 and 2019, before China first reported the first coronavirus outbreak to the World Health Organization, and compared those results with studies conducted on the same groups of people in 2020 or later.
They found that most changes in mental health symptoms, which included symptoms of depression and anxiety, “were close to zero and not statistically significant.” They mentioned that they did not find changes in general mental health or anxiety symptoms among general population studies. Moreover, worsening of depression symptoms was minimal, the study found.
SOME WORSENING SYMPTOMS
Women showed worsening mental health symptoms, the report said, though it was by small amounts. The study also noted that the same was true for older adults, university students, and those who belonged to a minority sexual or gender group.
“Significant worsening of symptoms among women or female members of the population is of concern,” the study said, adding that women are disproportionately represented in the healthcare field, holding the vast majority of jobs in family and elder care.
The researchers also noted that intimate partner violence towards women increased during the pandemic.