APH COVID-19 initiative: COMET - COVID MEnTal Health Survey – Mental health effects of the COVID-19 outbreak – a longitudinal international comparison

For a peacetime society, a virus epidemic is considered to be one of the most difficult and stressful events to manage in terms of public health. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has been forcing millions of people to change their usual life, to work from home, and to practice physical and social distancing. Many people face uncertainty regarding their financial situation, and the risk of being contaminated. It is yet unknown what the mental health effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are.

As reported in several studies conducted during the most recent past virus epidemic (SARS and Ebola), the obligation to keep a safe distance between people and the state of emergency could generate psychosocial consequence as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and distress in affected individuals. However, it is yet unclear which variables predict negative mental health outcomes. As far as is known, no studies have yet been conducted examining predictors for adverse mental health responses during a more protracted crisis such as the current COVID-19 crisis in the absence of war or terrorist attacks.

The project called COMET - COVID MEnTal Health Survey has the main objective to evaluate whether the course of mental health symptoms during the current COVID-19 outbreak is predicted by demographic variables (age, gender, education level, profession, degree of economic losses) social isolation, level of exposure to COVID-19 outbreak, pre-existing mental health problems, contamination fear, cultural value orientations and coping strategies. Mental health symptoms will be examined at four waves: Wave 1 (April/May 2020), Wave 2 (3 months), Wave 3 (6months), Wave 4 (9 months).

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For more information please contact: Martina Patanè


This is an initiative taken by APH researchers as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have an initiative to be listed as well, please email us.

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