Public health responses to the pandemic have focused on preventing the spread of the virus, limiting the number of deaths and easing the burden on healthcare systems.对大流行的公共卫生应对措施集中在防止病毒传播,限制死亡人数和减轻医疗保健系统负担上。 But there's also potentially another, less visible epidemic we should be focusing on: mental illness.但是,还有潜在的另一流行病,我们应该关注的流行病是:精神疾病。

我们的 最近的一项研究 found that people's mental health worsened following the onset of the pandemic.发现大流行之后人们的心理健康状况恶化。 We discovered this by analysing data provided by 17,452 UK adults, who were surveyed in April 2020 as part of the我们通过分析XNUMX名英国成年人提供的数据发现了这一点,这些成年人于XNUMX年XNUMX月接受了调查, 英国家庭纵向研究。 This is a large ongoing study of people who contribute data every year, some from as far back as 1992.这是一项正在进行的大型研究,涉及每年贡献数据的人,有些人的历史可以追溯到XNUMX年。

Not everyone, we discovered, was affected equally.我们发现,并不是每个人都受到同等的影响。 Young people, women, and those with small children saw their mental health worsen significantly more than other groups.年轻人,妇女和有小孩的人的心理健康状况比其他群体明显恶化。



People's answers were then assigned a value between zero and four, with higher scores indicating worse mental health.然后为人们的答案分配一个介于36到XNUMX之间的值,分数越高表示心理健康越差。 These scores were added together to give each person a total of between zero and XNUMX, which offered an overall measure of their mental health.将这些分数相加,得出每个人的总分在XNUMX到XNUMX之间,这是他们心理健康状况的总体衡量指标。 We also applied a separate scoring system to people's answers to estimate whether they were showing clinically significant levels of psychological distress – that is, if their distress was high enough to potentially need medical assistance.我们还对人们的答案应用了单独的评分系统,以评估他们是否表现出临床上显着的心理困扰水平,即他们的痛苦程度是否高到可能需要医疗救助。

We found that many common and well-known mental health inequalities persisted in the middle of lockdown.我们发现,在锁定期间,许多常见且众所周知的心理健康不平等现象仍然存在。 For instance, women showed substantially worse mental health than men (with a mean score of 13.6 compared with 11.5), and one-third of women had clinically significant levels of distress compared with one-fifth of men.例如,女性的心理健康状况明显比男性差(平均得分为XNUMX,而男性为XNUMX),三分之一的女性在临床上的困扰程度比男性高出五分之一。

Mental health also tended to get worse further down the income scale.在收入水平下降时,心理健康也趋于恶化。 The lowest fifth of earners had an average score of 13.9, with 32% showing clinically significant levels of distress.收入最低的五分之一人群的平均得分为12.0,其中26%的人群表现出临床上的重大困扰。 This compared with an average score of XNUMX in the highest fifth of earners, of whom XNUMX% showed high distress levels.相比之下,收入最高的五分之一人群的平均得分为XNUMX,其中XNUMX%的人表现出较高的困扰水平。


在流行病研究期间,年轻人的心理健康状况恶化了重要的是设法将流行病的影响与心理健康的普遍下降区分开来,尤其是在年轻人中。 simona pilolla 2 /快门

Yet while this told us where the mental health need was, it didn't tell us what the pandemic's effects had been.然而,尽管这告诉了我们心理健康的需求在哪里,却没有告诉我们该流行病的影响是什么。 We got a better sense of this by comparing this year's scores with prior measurements – and indeed, mental health was, on average, worse this year.通过将今年的得分与先前的测量结果进行比较,我们对此有了更好的认识-实际上,平均而言,今年的心理健康状况更糟。 Average scores have risen from 11.5 in the 2018/19 financial year to 12.6 in the recording made in April 2020. We also saw a significant overall increase in the proportion of people showing clinical levels of distress: 19% in 2018/19 versus 27% in April 2020.平均分数已从XNUMX/XNUMX财政年度的XNUMX上升到XNUMX年XNUMX月的记录中的XNUMX。我们还看到,表现出临床困扰水平的人员比例整体上有了显着提高:XNUMX/XNUMX年度为XNUMX%,而XNUMX% XNUMX年XNUMX月。

However, because the pandemic arose against a background of worsening mental health in the UK, we expected some deterioration.但是,由于大流行是在英国心理健康恶化的背景下发生的,因此我们预计情况会有所恶化。 We took account of this by looking at each individual's pre-pandemic answers, stretching back to 2014. These helped us predict what the scores were likely to have been in April 2020 had the pandemic not happened.我们通过查看每个人的大流行前答案(可追溯到XNUMX年)来考虑到这一点。这些信息有助于我们预测,如果大流行没有发生,那么XNUMX年XNUMX月的得分可能是多少。



This worsening of mental health differed considerably for different groups.精神健康的恶化在不同群体之间差异很大。 Compared to what we would have predicted to see, men's scores got only marginally worse (+0.06), while the change for women was far greater (+0.92).与我们预期的结果相比,男性的得分仅略微变差(+18),而女性的得分则大得多(+24)。 Young people, aged 2.7-XNUMX, were most affected, seeing a relative increase of XNUMX over what we would have expected if the pandemic had not happened.受此影响最大的是XNUMX至XNUMX岁的年轻人,如果没有发生这种大流行,他们的预期相对增长了XNUMX。

We had also predicted that fear of the virus would be a driver of poorer mental health, and that this would disproportionately affect key workers or people with underlying health conditions.我们还预测说,担心这种病毒会导致心理健康状况恶化,并且这将严重影响关键工人或具有潜在健康状况的人。 But this was not the case.但是事实并非如此。

The factors driving the decline in some people's mental health are not yet clear.导致某些人心理健康下降的因素尚不清楚。 But some clues are revealed when we consider who was most affected.但是,当我们考虑谁受到最大影响时,就会发现一些线索。 The deterioration in women and those with young children points to the difficulty of managing the domestic load during lockdown.妇女和有年幼子女的妇女的恶化表明在锁定期间难以管理家庭负担。 Having young children is challenging at any point, and we know that reliable support from family members, paid childcare and friends lessen its impact.育有小孩在任何时候都是具有挑战性的,我们知道,家人,有偿托儿服务和朋友的可靠支持会减轻影响。 The government's social restrictions and lockdown abruptly cut off most of these supports.政府的社会限制和封锁突然中断了大部分支持。

The effects on young people are especially troubling to see.对年轻人的影响尤其令人困扰。 These have happened against a background, in the past decade, of significant在过去的十年中,这些事情发生的背景非常重大。 年轻人的心理健康状况恶化 以及年轻人的心理健康服务 努力应付.

Some young people are vulnerable to social isolation and are affected badly by being withdrawn from school.一些年轻人容易受到社会孤立的影响,并因辍学而受到严重影响。 They may lose oversight of their wellbeing by teachers and other responsible adults, as well as access to regular meals and peer support from friends.他们可能会失去老师和其他负责任的成年人对其健康的监督,以及无法获得定期进餐和朋友的同伴支持。


As lockdown measures ease, we may see improvements in people's mental health.随着锁定措施的放松,我们可能会看到人们的心理健康有所改善。 It remains to be seen whether there will be any long-term effects, such as pre-existing mental health inequalities becoming more entrenched.是否会产生任何长期影响,例如先前存在的心理健康不平等问题更加根深蒂固,还有待观察。

大流行使人们不同的生活环境形成了鲜明的对比。 进入外部空间, 家庭拥挤, 粮食不安全, 家庭暴力, , 维持社交联系经济储备 are all relevant to mental health.与精神健康有关。 It's likely these differences will become more important during the anticipated economic recession, and these may have different effects on mental health compared with the government lockdown.在预期的经济衰退期间,这些差异可能会变得更加重要,并且与政府封锁相比,这些差异可能对心理健康产生不同的影响。

What these changes will do to people's overall health, wellbeing and family is not known.这些变化将对人们的整体健康,福祉和家庭产生什么影响尚不清楚。 But to mitigate and manage any additional mental health needs requires them to be closely monitored.但是,要减轻和管理任何其他精神健康需求,就需要对其进行密切监控。 People also need to receive high-quality information about mental health in public health messaging and be provided with adequately resourced services.人们还需要在公共卫生消息中接收有关心理健康的高质量信息,并获得足够资源的服务。 We would do well to remember that our mental health is as important as our physical health, and this should not be lost in our future planning.我们会很好地记住,我们的心理健康与我们的身体健康同样重要,这在我们的未来计划中不应失去。谈话


Kathryn Abel,心理医学教授, 英国曼彻斯特大学 心理与心理健康研究研究员Matthias Pierce 英国曼彻斯特大学

本文重新发表 谈话 根据知识共享许可。 阅读 原创文章.





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