As much as the virus is a global threat to physical health, it has also quickly become a challenge for mental health, the BBC notes.
Through this survey the study aims to collect information from over 100 000 participants from more than 40 countries and six continents.
According to Health24, the study has been approved by Stellenbosch Universities Health Research Ethics Committee and is being led by Professor Soraya Seedat and Dr Georgina Spies.
“It is vital that we detect and treat psychiatric symptoms in people with Covid-19 and their contacts. The outbreak of SARS in 2003 has been referred to as a mental health catastrophe. Research shows that 30 months after the SARS outbreak, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was the most prevalent long-term psychiatric condition, followed by depressive disorders. Approximately 60% of survivors met criteria for any psychiatric disorder,” said Spies in an interview with Health 24.
“This highlights the importance of addressing the population-level mental health impact of Covid-19. Attention also needs to be given to risk groups. Currently billions of people world-wide are either on full or partial lockdown, which has been termed the world’s greatest psychological experiment, and predicted to result in a secondary epidemic of burnouts and stress related absenteeism.”
Researchers will be collecting data to assess the acute effects of the pandemic and related quarantine measures for as long as Covid-19 is evolving, Spies told Health24, adding that the study will collect information now, as well as six months after the pandemic is over by the WHO, so that they can assess its chronic effects on the population.
“We must not forget about the potentially pervasive mental health impact of this pandemic,” said Spies.
Sources: BBC, Health24.com