Common mental health symptoms in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: an umbrella review

An umbrella review (systematic review of systematic reviews with meta-analyses) on the prevalence of common mental health symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic was recently published in PLoS Medicine. The article was written by several RESPOND researchers, with Dr Anke B. Witteveen from VU Amsterdam in the lead, and expands upon the findings in the WHO scientific brief on mental health and COVID-19, which was published last year.

Read the full article >

The results are that there was a small yet significant deterioration in depression and anxiety symptoms. There were fluctuations across time, correlating with the number of COVID-19 deaths and lockdown measures. Depression remained elevated for longer than anxiety. There are important differences across demographic subgroups, with women, young people, and those with pre-existing physical health conditions emerging as the most vulnerable.

Witteveen, A. B., Young, S. Y., Cuijpers, P., Ayuso-Mateos, J. L., Barbui, C., Bertolini, F., … & Sijbrandij, M. (2023). COVID-19 and common mental health symptoms in the early phase of the pandemic: An umbrella review of the evidence. PLoS Medicine, 20(4), e1004206.
Skip to content