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New study to explore long-term mental health effects of COVID-19

Sydney: A worldwide workforce led University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney goals to observe the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health of hundreds of individuals – from the womb to outdated age.

The workforce will explore for the primary time what they describe as this pandemic’s poisonous mixture of two excessive psychological stressors: existential risk and social isolation.

They are hoping to recruit round 3,000 individuals from Australia, the UK and US to consider their temper earlier than and after the onset of the pandemic, and to observe their cognitive perform and social networks over the approaching months.

It has a particular concentrate on two subgroups thought to be particularly weak to the shock of enforced isolation: adolescents and pregnant ladies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives so drastically that it is difficult to know how protracted the effects may be,” mentioned study’s chief investigator Dr Susanne Schweizer from UNSW’s School of Psychology.

“We’re particularly interested in younger people because they are at a time of social reorientation away from the family towards their peers which is all of a sudden being disrupted by social distancing,” Schweizer added.

The analysis workforce are involved that the longer-term effects of social isolation on this group could come at a price to their cognitive improvement due to faculties being closed as they’re within the US and the UK, or drastically modified as within the case of Australia.

According to the researchers, initially, individuals will likely be requested to full an hour-long survey on-line in a laptop computer or smartphone browser to assess temper earlier than and after the pandemic.

They will likely be requested to consider their connections to individuals of their social community and also will be invited to full duties that assess working reminiscence – the power to retailer data in reminiscence for brief quantities of time.

After three months – after which once more after six – individuals will once more be requested to fill in a shorter survey to observe progress in temper, cognitive perform and social community.

“We hope that by the end of the study, we will have reliable and accurate data so that we can qualify the longer-term effects of this pandemic,” Schweizer mentioned.

“By working together with other research teams at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and Oregon and Pittsburgh in the US, we are able to ask these questions across different populations,” Schweizer added.

“By investigating the impact of the pandemic on mental health and what happens when the protection of a social support network suddenly disappears, we will be much better positioned to respond to the future health care needs of our national and global populations,” she famous.

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