One in nine adults struggled with mental health during pande
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According to new research, one in nine adults consistently had very poor or deteriorating mental health during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using a probability sample, researchers tracked mental health during the pandemic to characterize mental health trajectories and identify predictors of deterioration. The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

This study was a secondary analysis of five waves of the UK Household Longitudinal Study from late April to early October and pre-pandemic data. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). They used latent class mixed models to identify discrete mental health trajectories and fixed-effects regression to identify predictors of change in mental health. Mental health was assessed in 19763 adults.

Result was;

--Mean population mental health deteriorated with the onset of the pandemic and did not begin improving until July 2020. The latent class analysis identified five distinct mental health trajectories up to October 2020.

1)Most individuals in the population had either consistently good or consistently very good mental health.

2)A recovering group showed worsened mental health during the initial shock of the pandemic and then returned to around pre-pandemic levels.

3)The two remaining groups were characterized by poor mental health; for one group, there was an initial worsening that was sustained with highly elevated scores.

4)The other group had little initial acute deterioration in their mental health but reported a steady and sustained decline in mental health over time.

--These last two groups were more likely to have pre-existing mental or physical ill-health, to live in deprived neighborhoods, and be of Asian, Black or mixed ethnicity. Infection with SARS-CoV-2, local lockdown, and financial difficulties all predicted a subsequent deterioration in mental health.

In particular, between April and October, the mental health of most UK adults remained resilient or returned to pre-pandemic levels. Around one in nine individuals had deteriorating or consistently poor mental health. People living in areas affected by lockdown, struggling financially, with pre-existing conditions, or infection with SARS-CoV-2 might benefit most from early intervention.