Rev Esp Quimioter 2023; 36(2):125-143
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the general population and health care workers
EMILIO BOUZA, CELSO ARANGO, CARMEN MORENO, DIEGO GRACIA, MANUEL MARTÍN, VÍCTOR PÉREZ, LUISA LÁZARO, FRANCISCO FERRE, GONZALO SALAZAR, FRANCISCO TEJERINA-PICADO, MERCEDES NAVÍO, JAVIER GRANDA REVILLA, ESTEBAN PALOMO, PEDRO R. GIL-MONTE
Published: 21 February 2023
The Health Sciences Foundation has assembled a multidisciplinary group around a series of questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the general population and specific groups within that population, particularly healthcare workers.
In the general population, the most prevalent mental disorders have been anxiety, sleep disorders and affective disorders, primarily depression. There has been a considerable increase in suicidal behavior, especially in young women and men over 70 years of age. There has been an increase in alcohol abuse and nicotine, cannabis and cocaine use. In contrast, the use of synthetic stimulants during periods of confinement has decreased. With regard to non-substance addictions, gambling was very limited, pornography consumption increased significantly and there was an increase in compulsive shopping and the use of video games.
Particularly vulnerable groups include adolescents and patients with autism spectrum disorders. Healthcare workers suffered an increase in depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, especially those who were exposed during the early stages of the pandemic. Female sex, being a nurse, proximity to patients with COVID-19, working in a rural environment and having previous psychiatric or organic illnesses were some of the most frequently repeated factors in various studies in this population group.
The media have shown a good degree of knowledge about these problems and have dealt with them frequently and from the point of view of ethics, crisis situations, such as the one experienced, have triggered not only physical but also moral claudications.
Rev Esp Quimioter 2023; 36(2):125-143 [Full-text PDF]