Mental health and well-being in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic among different population subgroups: evidence from representative longitudinal data in Germany
AutorInnen: Jaschke, Philipp; Kosyakova, Yuliya; Kuche, Coline; Walther, Lena; Goßner, Laura; Jacobsen, Jannes; Tam Ta, Thi Min; Hahn, Eric; Hans, Silke; Bajbouj, Malek Publikationsjahr: 2023
To examine potential deteriorations in mental health and well-being in the first COVID-19 pandemic year compared with the previous decade focusing on the following vulnerable subgroups in Germany: women with minor children in the household, those living without a partner, younger and older adults, those in a precarious labour market situation, immigrants and refugees, and those with pre-existing physical or mental health risks.
Analyses of secondary longitudinal survey data using cluster-robust pooled ordinary least squares models.
More than 20 000 individuals (aged 16+ years) in Germany.
Primary and secondary outcome measures:
Mental Component Summary Scale (MCS) of the 12-item ShortForm Health Survey measuring mental health-related quality of life, single item on life satisfaction (LS).
We find a decline in the average MCS in the 2020 survey that is not particularly striking in the overall time course, still resulting in a mean score below those of all preceding waves since 2010. We find no change in LS from 2019 to 2020 against the background of a general upward trend. Regarding vulnerability factors, only the results on age and parenthood are partially in line with our expectations. In 2020, LS declined among the youngest adults; MCS declined among mothers (and women and men without children) but not fathers. Unlike respective comparison groups, refugees, those unemployed before the pandemic and those with pre-existing mental health risks experienced no MCS declines in 2020, whereas persons living without a partner, the eldest, and those with pre-existing health risks exhibited continued increases in LS.
There is no evidence for substantial breakdowns in mental health or subjective well-being in the first pandemic year in the German population or its subgroups, particularly when considering developments of the previous decade. Since the majority of hypothesised vulnerable groups to pandemic stressors showed more stable MCS and LS, our results warrant further study.doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071331 ISSN: 2044-6055 Open Access