Loneliness and COVID-19 preventive behaviours among Japanese adults.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:There is some evidence that loneliness may be linked to poorer health behaviours. Despite this, there has been little research to date on the relationship between loneliness and COVID-19 preventive behaviours. We studied these associations in a sample of the Japanese population. METHODS:Data were analysed from an online survey of 2000 adults undertaken in April and May 2020. Loneliness was assessed with the Three-Item Loneliness Scale. Information was also collected on 13 COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Regression analyses were used to examine associations. RESULTS:In linear regression models adjusted for demographic and mental health variables, both dichotomous and continuous loneliness measures were negatively associated with engaging in COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Logistic regression analyses further showed that loneliness was also associated with reduced odds for a variety of individual preventive behaviours including wearing a mask (odds ratio [OR]: 0.77, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.62-0.95), disinfecting hands (OR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.67-0.94) and social distancing when outdoors (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.61-0.92). CONCLUSIONS:Loneliness is associated with lower engagement in COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Interventions to prevent or ameliorate loneliness during the ongoing pandemic may be important in combating the spread of the coronavirus.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The aim of the study was to examine COVID-19 preventive behaviours among individuals with mental health problems. STUDY DESIGN:This is a pooled cross-sectional study. METHODS:Online survey data were analysed from 2000 Japanese adults collected in April and May 2020. Information was obtained on 13 COVID-19 preventive behaviours and anxiety and depressive symptoms using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale and Patient Health Questionnaire-9, respectively. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the associations. RESULTS:In models adjusted for demographic and socio-economic factors, anxiety (coefficient: -0.77, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.30, -0.24) and depressive symptoms (coefficient: -0.82, 95% CI: -1.34, -0.30) were both associated with significantly lower engagement in COVID-19 preventive behaviours. CONCLUSION:Our results highlight the importance of facilitating the performance of preventive behaviours in individuals with mental health problems to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in this population.
Project description:Isolation and loneliness are related to various aspects of health. Physical performance is a central component of health. However, its relationship with isolation and loneliness is not well understood. We therefore assessed the relationship between loneliness, different aspects of social isolation, and physical performance over time. 8,780 participants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, assessed three times over 8 years of follow-up, were included. Measures included physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery), loneliness (modified UCLA Loneliness Scale), and isolation considered in three ways (domestic isolation, social disengagement, low social contact). Fixed effects regression models were used to estimate the relationship between changes in these parameters. Missing data were imputed to account for variable response and ensure a representative sample. Loneliness, domestic isolation and social disengagement were longitudinally associated with poorer physical performance when accounting for both time-invariant and time-variant confounders (loneliness: coef?=?-?0.06, 95% CI -?0.09 to -?0.02; domestic isolation: coef?=?-?0.32, 95% CI -?0.46 to -?0.19; social disengagement: coef?=?-?0.10, 95% CI -?0.12 to -?0.07). Low social contact was not associated with physical performance. These findings suggest social participation and subjectively meaningful interpersonal interactions are related to physical performance, and highlight additional considerations regarding social distancing related to COVID-19 control measures.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Loneliness is a significant public health issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdown measures limiting social contact. The UK public are worried about the impact of these measures on mental health outcomes. Understanding the prevalence and predictors of loneliness at this time is a priority issue for research. METHOD:The study employed a cross-sectional online survey design. Baseline data collected between March 23rd and April 24th 2020 from UK adults in the COVID-19 Psychological Wellbeing Study were analysed (N = 1964, 18-87 years, M = 37.11, SD = 12.86, 70% female). Logistic regression analysis examined the influence of sociodemographic, social, health and COVID-19 specific factors on loneliness. RESULTS:The prevalence of loneliness was 27% (530/1964). Risk factors for loneliness were younger age group (OR: 4.67-5.31), being separated or divorced (OR: 2.29), scores meeting clinical criteria for depression (OR: 1.74), greater emotion regulation difficulties (OR: 1.04), and poor quality sleep due to the COVID-19 crisis (OR: 1.30). Higher levels of social support (OR: 0.92), being married/co-habiting (OR: 0.35) and living with a greater number of adults (OR: 0.87) were protective factors. CONCLUSIONS:Rates of loneliness during the initial phase of lockdown were high. Risk factors were not specific to the COVID-19 crisis. Findings suggest that supportive interventions to reduce loneliness should prioritise younger people and those with mental health symptoms. Improving emotion regulation and sleep quality, and increasing social support may be optimal initial targets to reduce the impact of COVID-19 regulations on mental health outcomes.
Project description:Objectives:Older adults may experience loneliness due to social distancing and isolation during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Loneliness may further catalyze numerous poor health outcomes including impaired sleep. This study aimed to assess COVID-19 related worries and resilience as potential moderators of the loneliness-sleep problems link. Method:In the midst of the lock-down period of COVID-19, we collected data using a web-based public platform from 243 Israeli older adults (mean age = 69.76, SD = 6.69, age range = 60-92). Participants completed measures of COVID-19 related loneliness, sleep problems, COVID-related worries, and resilience. Results:COVID-19 related loneliness was related to more sleep problems. The loneliness-sleep association was especially strong among those with more COVID-19 related worries or among those with lower resilience. Conclusion:The relationship between COVID-19 related loneliness and sleep problems is not uniform across older adults. The subjective sleep quality of those with more COVID-19 related worries or less resilience (i.e., feeling less being able to adapt to the challenging circumstances) is more susceptible to feeling lonely. Considering these variables may facilitate detection of and intervention for older adults vulnerable to aversive results in the context of COVID-19.
Project description:Despite ample research on the prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders during COVID-19, we know little about the broader psychological impact of the pandemic on a wider population. The study investigates the prevalence and predictors of general psychiatric disorders measured by the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and frequency of loneliness during COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, a country heavily hit by the pandemic. We analyzed 15,530 respondents of the first large-scale, nationally representative survey of COVID-19 in a developed country, the first wave of Understanding Society COVID-19 Study. Results show that 29.2% of the respondents score 4 or more, the caseness threshold, on the general psychiatric disorder measure, and 35.86% of the respondents sometimes or often feel lonely. Regression analyses show that those who have or had COVID-19-related symptoms are more likely to develop general psychiatric disorders and are lonelier. Women and young people have higher risks of general psychiatric disorders and loneliness, while having a job and living with a partner are protective factors. This study showcases the psychological impact, including general psychiatric disorders and loneliness, of broader members of the society during COVID-19 and the underlying social inequalities.
Project description:We sought to evaluate the adherence of Vietnamese adults to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preventive measures, and gain insight into the effects of the epidemic on the daily lives of Vietnamese people. An online questionnaire was administered from March 31 to April 6, 2020. The questionnaire assessed personal preventive behavior (such as physical distancing, wearing a face mask, cough etiquette, regular handwashing and using an alcohol hand sanitizer, body temperature check, and disinfecting mobile phones) and community preventive behavior (such as avoiding meetings, large gatherings, going to the market, avoiding travel in a vehicle/bus with more than 10 persons, and not traveling outside of the local area during the lockdown). A total adherence score was calculated by summing the scores of the 9 personal and the 11 community prevention questions. In total, 2175 respondents completed the questionnaire; mean age: 31.4 ± 10.7; (range: 18-69); 66.9% were women; 54.2% were health professionals and 22.8% were medical students. The mean adherence scores for personal and community preventive measures were 7.23 ± 1.63 (range 1-9) and 9.57 ± 1.12 (range 1-11), respectively. Perceived adaptation of the community to lockdown (Beta (?) = 2.64, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.25-4.03), fears/worries concerning one's health (? = 2.87, 95% CI 0.04-5.70), residing in large cities (? = 19.40, 95% CI 13.78-25.03), access to official COVID-19 information sources (? = 16.45, 95% CI 6.82-26.08), and working in healthcare/medical students (? = 22.53, 95% CI 16.00-29.07) were associated with a higher adherence score to anti-COVID instructions. In conclusion, this study confirmed a high degree of adherence to personal and community preventive behavior among Vietnamese people. Our findings are consistent with the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Vietnam, where there have been few infections and no recorded deaths up to the first week of July 2020.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The study examined whether subjective age moderated the relationship between loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and psychiatric symptoms. METHODS:A convenience sample of older adult Israelis (N?=?277, mean age?=?69.58 ± 6.72) completed web-based questionnaires comprising loneliness, anxiety, depressive, and peritraumatic distress symptoms. They also reported how old they felt. RESULTS:The positive relationship between loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and psychiatric symptoms was weak among those who felt younger than their age while this very same relationship was robust among those feeling older. CONCLUSIONS:Young subjective age may weaken the loneliness-symptom association among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults holding an older age identity are more susceptible to the adverse effects of loneliness. Although preliminary, the findings may inform screening and interventions. Subjective age may help identify those at high risk in suffering from loneliness, and suggest interventions aimed at ameliorating both loneliness and older subjective ages.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Covid-19 pandemic raises questions about the role that relationships and interactions between humans and animals play in the context of widespread social distancing and isolation measures. We aimed to investigate links between mental health and loneliness, companion animal ownership, the human-animal bond, and human-animal interactions; and to explore animal owners' perceptions related to the role of their animals during lockdown. METHODS:A cross-sectional online survey of UK residents over 18 years of age was conducted between April and June 2020. The questionnaire included validated and bespoke items measuring demographics; exposures and outcomes related to mental health, wellbeing and loneliness; the human-animal bond and human-animal interactions. RESULTS:Of 5,926 participants, 5,323 (89.8%) had at least one companion animal. Most perceived their animals to be a source of considerable support, but concerns were reported related to various practical aspects of providing care during lockdown. Strength of the human-animal bond did not differ significantly between species. Poorer mental health pre-lockdown was associated with a stronger reported human-animal bond (b = -.014, 95% CI [-.023 - -.005], p = .002). Animal ownership compared with non-ownership was associated with smaller decreases in mental health (b = .267, 95% CI [.079 - .455], p = .005) and smaller increases in loneliness (b = -.302, 95% CI [-.461 - -.144], p = .001) since lockdown. CONCLUSION:The human-animal bond is a construct that may be linked to mental health vulnerability in animal owners. Strength of the human-animal bond in terms of emotional closeness or intimacy dimensions appears to be independent of animal species. Animal ownership seemed to mitigate some of the detrimental psychological effects of Covid-19 lockdown. Further targeted investigation of the role of human-animal relationships and interactions for human health, including testing of the social buffering hypothesis and the development of instruments suited for use across animal species, is required.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted daily life in Canada. This study assesses changes in health behaviours during the early stages of the pandemic and examines socio-demographic disparities associated with these changes. METHODS:We analyze data on adults age 25 and older (N?=?4383) from the public-use Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1: Impacts of COVID-19 (CPSS-COVID). Multinomial regression models assess the association between demographic and socio-economic characteristics with increases or decreases in six health behaviours: alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use, junk food consumption, and TV and internet screen time. RESULTS:While findings varied across the six behaviours, overall, there was an increase in negative health behaviours: 14% of Canadian adults reported increasing their alcohol use (95% CI?=?0.12, 0.15), 25% increased their junk food consumption (95% CI?=?0.23, 0.27), and over 60% increased their screen time (62%, 95% CI?=?0.60, 0.65 for TV and 66%, 95% CI?=?0.63, 0.68 for internet). Younger and Canada-born adults were more likely to increase negative health behaviours than older and immigrant Canadians. Adults who reported financial impact of COVID-19 were more likely to increase all negative health behaviours (e.g., for increased junk food consumption, the relative risk ratio (RRR)?=?1.81, 95% CI?=?1.49, 2.20 relative to group reporting no impact). CONCLUSION:Our study documents the overall deterioration of health behaviours during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimize long-term harm to the Canadian population's health, the results highlight the need to tailor interventions, especially for younger Canadians, and the importance of mitigating financial impacts, which are linked to negative changes in health behaviours.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Rates of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections have rapidly increased worldwide and reached pandemic proportions. A suite of preventive behaviours have been recommended to minimize risk of COVID-19 infection in the general population. The present study utilized an integrated social cognition model to explain COVID-19 preventive behaviours in a sample from the Iranian general population. DESIGN:The study adopted a three-wave prospective correlational design. METHODS:Members of the general public (N = 1,718, Mage = 33.34, SD = 15.77, male = 796, female = 922) agreed to participate in the study. Participants completed self-report measures of demographic characteristics, intention, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and action self-efficacy at an initial data collection occasion. One week later, participants completed self-report measures of maintenance self-efficacy, action planning and coping planning, and, a further week later, measures of COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Hypothesized relationships among social cognition constructs and COVID-19 preventive behaviours according to the proposed integrated model were estimated using structural equation modelling. RESULTS:The proposed model fitted the data well according to multiple goodness-of-fit criteria. All proposed relationships among model constructs were statistically significant. The social cognition constructs with the largest effects on COVID-19 preventive behaviours were coping planning (? = .575, p < .001) and action planning (? = .267, p < .001). CONCLUSIONS:Current findings may inform the development of behavioural interventions in health care contexts by identifying intervention targets. In particular, findings suggest targeting change in coping planning and action planning may be most effective in promoting participation in COVID-19 preventive behaviours. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Curbing COVID-19 infections globally is vital to reduce severe cases and deaths in at-risk groups. Preventive behaviours like handwashing and social distancing can stem contagion of the coronavirus. Identifying modifiable correlates of COVID-19 preventive behaviours is needed to inform intervention. What does this study add? An integrated model identified predictors of COVID-19 preventive behaviours in Iranian residents. Prominent predictors were intentions, planning, self-efficacy, and perceived behavioural control. Findings provide insight into potentially modifiable constructs that interventions can target. Research should examine if targeting these factors lead to changes in COVID-19 behaviours over time.