Leading experts have cautioned that prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may cause serious mental health problems. To understand these problems, this study tracked nine psychiatric symptoms in the general population. Data were collected just before the pandemic as well as at three additional time points during the pandemic. By examining changes across multiple symptoms in terms of principal components, we found that a "general psychiatric burden" in addition to "depression/anxiety" peaked in the early stages of the pandemic, while "social isolation" peaked a year later. Each of these components has different risk factors. By understanding these and by taking swift appropriate countermeasures, we may be able to mitigate further psychological suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multiple time measurements of multidimensional psychiatric states from immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic to one and half year later: a longitudinal online survey of the Japanese population
DOI : 10.1038/s41398-021-01696-x
Taiki Oka, Takatomi Kubo, Nao Kobayashi, Fumiya Nakai, Yuka Miyake, Toshitaka Hamamura, Masaru Honjo, Hiroyuki Toda, Shuken Boku, Tetsufumi Kanazawa, Masanori Nagamine, Aurelio Cortese, Minoru Takebayashi, Mitsuo Kawato, Toshinori Chiba