Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic: protocol and results of first three weeks from an international cross-section survey - focus on health professionals

Shanaya Rathod, Saseendran Pallikadavath, Allan H. Young, Lizi Graves, Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, Ashlea Brooks, Mustafa Soomro, Pranay Rathod, Peter Phiri

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Background: The psychological impact of COVID-19, resultant measures and future consequences to life will be unveiled in time.

Aim: To investigate the psychological impact of COVID-19, resultant restrictions, impact on behaviours and mental wellbeing globally. This early analysis, explores positive and adverse factors and behaviours with focus on healthcare professionals.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey, using a questionnaire based on published approaches to understand the psychological impact of COVID-19. The survey will be repeated at 6 months because of rapidly changing situation.

Results: We have presented results from first 3 weeks of the survey. Conclusions may change as more individuals take part over time. 7,917 participants completed the survey in the first 3 weeks; 7,271 are from the United Kingdom. 49.7% of the participants are healthcare professionals. There is high representation of female participants. Participants reporting suicidal thoughts is 32%. Healthcare professionals have reported mild depression and anxiety in higher proportions. Increasing age and female gender report higher compliance with government advice on COVID 19 whereas higher education, homeowners, key worker status, high alcohol, drug use and participants with pre-existing suicidal thoughts reported low compliance with government advice. Participants who reported suicidal thoughts pre-COVID are less likely to communicate with friends and family, or engage in coping strategies.

Conclusions: Evidence has shown an adverse psychological impact of previous pandemics on the population, especially wellbeing of healthcare professionals. Research should focus on identifying the need, preparing services and determining the factors that enhance and build resilience.

Funding: This survey is linked to a MRC global health research program of the Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population, and Policy, (MR/N006267/1), University of Portsmouth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100005
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • RCUK
  • MRC
  • MR/N006267/1
  • Covid-19
  • healthcare professionals
  • psychological impact


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