An eight country cross-sectional study of the psychosocial effects of COVID-19 induced quarantine and/or isolation during the pandemic

Philip J. Schluter*, Mélissa Généreux, Elsa Landaverde, Emily Y.Y. Chan, Kevin K.C. Hung, Ronald Law, Catherine P.Y. Mok, Virginia Murray, Tracey O’Sullivan, Zeeshan Qadar, Mathieu Roy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Forced quarantine and nationwide lockdowns have been a primary response by many jurisdictions in their attempt at COVID-19 elimination or containment, yet the associated mental health burden is not fully understood. Using an eight country cross-sectional design, this study investigates the association between COVID-19 induced quarantine and/or isolation on probable generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive episode (MDE) psychological outcomes approximately eight months after the pandemic was declared. Overall, 9027 adults participated, and 2937 (32.5%) were indicated with GAD and/or MDE. Reported quarantine and/or isolation was common, with 1199 (13.8%) confined for travel or health requirements, 566 (6.5%) for being close contact, 720 (8.3%) for having COVID-19 symptoms, and 457 (5.3%) for being COVID-19 positive. Compared to those not quarantining or isolating, the adjusted estimated relative risks of GAD and/or MDE associated with quarantine and/or isolation was significant (p < 0.001), ranging from 1.24 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07, 1.43) for travel/health to 1.37 (95% CI 1.19, 1.59) for COVID-19 symptom isolation reasons. While almost universally employed, quarantine and/or isolation is associated with a heavy mental health toll. Preventive strategies are needed, such as minimizing time-limits imposed and providing clear rationale and information, together with additional treatment and rehabilitation resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13175
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date1 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded by a Canadian Institute of Health Research Operating Grant (OV7-170635). The funding agency had no role in the design and conduct of the study, management, analyses, interpretation of the results or in the preparation, review or approval of the article.

Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not
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Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

Citation: Schluter, P.J., Généreux, M., Landaverde, E. et al. An eight country cross-sectional study of the psychosocial effects of COVID-19 induced quarantine and/or isolation during the pandemic. Sci Rep 12, 13175 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-16254-8

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-16254-8

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