On January 31, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were detected in Italy; the extent and the rapidity of virus spread forced the Italian Government to take extraordinary measures to prevent contagion. In this study, we aimed to compare data collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic on the depression symptomatology in a sample from the general population. We used archival data from a previous dataset we had access to, which included Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) data from non-clinical volunteers collected before (n = 151; Pre-COVID-19 group) and during (n = 352; COVID group) the pandemic. Statistical analyses compared CES-D scores yielded by the Pre-COVID-19 sample against those yielded by the COVID-19 sample. Additionally, the possible impact of demographic variables on CES-D scores before and during COVID-19 was tested. We found a statistically significant higher mean on the CES-D scores in the COVID-19 group (M = 20.5; SD = 10.6) compared to the Pre-COVID-19 group (M = 18.1; SD = 11.2) and a higher percentage of participants scoring above the cut-score of 16 in the COVID-19 group compared to the Pre-COVID-19 group (Phi = .152, p = .001). Moreover, in the COVID-19 group we found a statistically significant difference on the CES-D scores between men and women (t(350) = -2.82, p = .005, d = -0.32) and a nearly significant relationship between age and CES-D scores (r = .104; p = .051). This study showed that the lockdown measures and the pandemic itself might have led to an increasing of the depressive symptoms in a non-clinical sample (and maybe in the Italian population), especially in women and youths.

Depression at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: A CES-D survey before and during the lockdown

Luciano Giromini;Claudia Pignolo
Last
2020

Abstract

On January 31, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were detected in Italy; the extent and the rapidity of virus spread forced the Italian Government to take extraordinary measures to prevent contagion. In this study, we aimed to compare data collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic on the depression symptomatology in a sample from the general population. We used archival data from a previous dataset we had access to, which included Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) data from non-clinical volunteers collected before (n = 151; Pre-COVID-19 group) and during (n = 352; COVID group) the pandemic. Statistical analyses compared CES-D scores yielded by the Pre-COVID-19 sample against those yielded by the COVID-19 sample. Additionally, the possible impact of demographic variables on CES-D scores before and during COVID-19 was tested. We found a statistically significant higher mean on the CES-D scores in the COVID-19 group (M = 20.5; SD = 10.6) compared to the Pre-COVID-19 group (M = 18.1; SD = 11.2) and a higher percentage of participants scoring above the cut-score of 16 in the COVID-19 group compared to the Pre-COVID-19 group (Phi = .152, p = .001). Moreover, in the COVID-19 group we found a statistically significant difference on the CES-D scores between men and women (t(350) = -2.82, p = .005, d = -0.32) and a nearly significant relationship between age and CES-D scores (r = .104; p = .051). This study showed that the lockdown measures and the pandemic itself might have led to an increasing of the depressive symptoms in a non-clinical sample (and maybe in the Italian population), especially in women and youths.
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COVID-19; Sars-Cov-2; Pandemic; Depression; Lockdown; Mental health; Women; Youths
Sabrina Rizzo, Luciano Giromini, Claudia Pignolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1806036
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