Mental health status of individuals with a mood-disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: Initial results from the COLLATE project
AuthorVan Rheenen, TE; Meyer, D; Neill, E; Phillipou, A; Tan, EJ; Toh, WL; Rossell, SL
Source TitleJournal of Affective Disorders
University of Melbourne Author/svan Rheenen, Tamsyn; Neill, Erica; Rossell, Susan; Phillipou, Andrea; TAN, ERIC; TOH, WEI LIN
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsVan Rheenen, T. E., Meyer, D., Neill, E., Phillipou, A., Tan, E. J., Toh, W. L. & Rossell, S. L. (2020). Mental health status of individuals with a mood-disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: Initial results from the COLLATE project. JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS, 275, pp.69-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.06.037.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
BACKGROUND: Physical-distancing strategies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be particularly detrimental to the mental health of individuals with a pre-existing mood disorder. Data on the mental health status of these individuals during the current pandemic is sparse, and their current mental health needs unclear. METHOD: We characterised COVID-19 related lifestyle changes, primary concerns and psychological distress in n=1292 respondents self-reporting a mood disorder (either bipolar disorder or depressive disorder) and n=3167 respondents without any reported mental disorder from the COLLATE (COvid-19 and you: mentaL heaLth in AusTralia now survEy) project; an Australian national survey launched on April 1st 2020. RESULTS: Psychological distress was heightened in the mood disorder group compared to the group with no mental disorder, with stress and depression further elevated in respondents with bipolar disorder compared to those with depressive disorder; and men with bipolar disorder having even higher levels of depression than women with bipolar disorder. Respondents with bipolar disorder were particularly concerned about financial issues associated with COVID-19 compared to those with depressive disorder and those with no mental disorder. Adverse changes to lifestyle behaviours were more prevalent in respondents with a mood disorder and linked to higher levels of distress. LIMITATIONS: Mood disorder was self-reported and was not clinically verified. CONCLUSIONS: Current psychological distress levels are elevated in individuals with mood disorder and are associated with maladaptive situational and lifestyle changes occurring in response to COVID-19.
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