Workplace closures boost mental health during COVID pandemic: Study

The unprecedentedly severe restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus certainly achieved its immediate goal of saving lives by limiting potential exposure to the virus, among vulnerable people. However, these measures have also had a lasting impact on the mental health of a large segment of the population.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Bocconi in Italy, found that these effects on psychological well-being affected certain social groups, especially (but not exclusively) women with children living at home.

The study, published in the journal Social Sciences and Medicine, aimed to track the relationship of 13 non-drug policy interventions with the mental well-being of residents in several European countries.

The team analyzed the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of more than 15,000 individuals.

Results showed mental well-being variations of -3.9 percent for international travel restrictions; -1.5 percent for a ban on private gatherings; -1.4 percent, to detect non-pharmaceutical policy interventions; and +1.8 percent for workplace closures, compared to mental health levels before the pandemic.

In other words, workplace closures actually boosted people’s mental health, but this was the only positive effect.

Importantly, there have been significant differences between social groups: the results showed that some of the groups with dangerously low pre-pandemic mental health levels suffered the most.

For example, before the pandemic the average mental health level of women was already significantly lower than that of men. Those gaps widened during the pandemic, and this probably indicates that inequalities themselves have widened.

“All the evidence points to the conclusion that those groups that saw themselves in a less stable, riskier situation suffered more,” said University Professor Letizia Mencarini.

Such groups include women, people with low education levels and young students.

While preventing the impact of the COVID-19 virus on health systems was clearly the overarching objective of all non-drug policy interventions, these findings suggest that they should not be given adequate attention to prevent their consequences on the mental health of vulnerable groups. was designed.

“Greater collaboration and more equitable COVID-19-related non-drug policy interventions can reduce inequalities in how the pandemic affects different countries and reduce the need to restrict movements between them,” Mencarini said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and is not created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-media

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