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Young adults and people with health conditions have greatest Covid anxiety

Young adults and people with health conditions ‘have greatest Covid anxiety’

Younger adults and people with pre-existing mental and physical health conditions are more likely to suffer anxiety, depression, PTSD and higher levels of worry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, new research has shown.

Psychologists at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) looked at data from 726 people across Scotland, to gauge what impact the pandemic was having on mental health.

The study found 31% of those surveyed suffered from anxiety, 34% had depression and 20% showed signs of PTSD, higher than rates experienced across the UK before lockdown.

A further 30% said they were “quite a bit” or “extremely concerned” about becoming infected with coronavirus.

Almost 70% said they were worried about the ability of the health service to cope with the demands of Covid-19.

GCU head of psychology Dr Kerri McPherson and Dr Kareena McAloney, senior lecturer in applied health psychology, said: “We looked at a whole host of factors that might influence these outcomes – and the things that consistently appear are that younger people and those with pre-existing health conditions are more likely to suffer anxiety, depression and PTSD and higher levels of worries as a result of lockdown measures.

“Younger individuals in particular often had higher concerns, as did those with pre-existing health conditions.

“Media consumption and income were also significantly associated with higher levels of some Covid-19 concerns.

“We found high levels of self-reported mental illness in the population and this means we need to think about how we support individuals and the resources we have in place to deal with the mental health consequences of the pandemic.”

The researchers made several key recommendations, including media guidelines to identify fake news, a public health campaign, and a plan for increased mental health support.

These will be submitted to the Scottish Government.

Published: 02/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

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