Study Finds Positive Link Between PTSD & Pandemic Fears


Flinders University had recently conducted a study to understand the link between COVID-19 and escalating stress levels to find out that both are linked with each other. With ongoing economic and social fallout backed by a death toll of more than 2 million, the team of psychology researchers has suggested taking more initiative to cope with the potential spike in PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). These cases are the result of the pandemic along with other mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, psychosocial functioning, etc.

In the study, 1040 individuals took part from five western countries and they were surveyed to explore people’s response to the stresses of the escalating pandemic. According to the results, more than 13% of the sample had PTSD related symptoms consistent with levels necessary to qualify for a clinical diagnosis. For depression, 47.3% of participants were in the normal range, 28.8% mild-moderate, and 24% severe-extremely severe. For anxiety, 68.0% were normal, 15.9% were mild-moderate and 16.1% were severe-extremely severe. For stress, 63% were normal, 22.6% were mild-moderate and 14.4% severe-extremely severe. For well-being, 55.4% of participants scored below 50 and for psychosocial functioning, 64.0% of participants reported some impairment due to COVID-19.

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Victoria M. E. Bridgland, Ella K. Moeck, Deanne M. Green, Taylor L. Swain, Diane M. Nayda, Lucy A. Matson, Nadine P. Hutchison, Melanie K. T. Takarangi. Why the COVID-19 pandemic is a traumatic stressor. PLOS ONE, 2021; 16 (1): e0240146 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240146