Effective recommendations towards healthy routines to preserve mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Objective

    To assess the adherence to a set of evidence-based recommendations to support mental health during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its association with depressive and anxiety symptoms.

    Methods

    A team of health workers and researchers prepared the recommendations, formatted into three volumes (1: COVID-19 prevention; 2: Healthy habits; 3: Biological clock and sleep). Participants were randomized to receive only Volume 1 (control), Volumes 1 and 2, Volumes 1 and 3, or all volumes. We used a convenience sample of Portuguese-speaking participants over age 18 years. An online survey consisting of sociodemographic and behavioral questionnaires and mental health instruments (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9] and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 [GAD-7]) was administered. At 14 and 28 days later, participants were invited to complete follow-up surveys, which also included questions regarding adherence to the recommendations. A total of 409 participants completed the study - mostly young adult women holding university degrees.

    Results

    The set of recommendations contained in Volumes 2 and 3 was effective in protecting mental health, as suggested by significant associations of adherence with PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores (reflecting anxiety and depression symptoms, respectively).

    Conclusion

    The recommendations developed in this study could be useful to prevent negative mental health effects in the context of the pandemic and beyond.

authors

  • Pilz, Luísa K
  • Couto Pereira, Natividade S
  • Francisco, Ana Paula
  • Carissimi, Alicia
  • Constantino, Débora B
  • Caus, Letícia B
  • Abreu, Ana Carolina O
  • Amando, Guilherme R
  • Bonatto, Fernanda S
  • Carvalho, Paula VV
  • Cipolla-Neto, José
  • Harb, Ana
  • Lazzarotto, Gabriela
  • Marafiga, Joseane Righes
  • Minuzzi, Luciano
  • Montagner, Francisco
  • Nishino, Fernanda A
  • Oliveira, Melissa AB
  • dos Santos, Bruno GT
  • Steibel, Eduardo G
  • Tavares, Patrice S
  • Tonon, André C
  • Xavier, Nicóli B
  • Zanona, Querusche Klippel
  • Amaral, Fernanda G
  • Calcagnotto, Maria Elisa
  • Frey, Benicio
  • Hidalgo, Maria Paz
  • Idiart, Marco
  • Russomano, Thais

publication date

  • March 2022