Comorbidity and COVID-19: Investigating the Relationship between Medical and Psychological Well-being

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Title: Comorbidity and COVID-19: Investigating the Relationship between Medical and Psychological Well-being
Authors: Stafford, OwenBerry, AnnaTaylor, Laura K.Wearen, SineadPrendergast, CianMurphy, EddieShevlin, MarkMcHugh, LouiseCarr, AlanBurke, Tom
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Date: 16-Apr-2021
Online since: 2021-05-10T08:53:28Z
Abstract: Objective: The unprecedented occurrence of a global pandemic is accompanied by both physical and psychological burdens that may impair quality of life. Research relating to COVID-19 aims to determine the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable populations who are at high risk of developing negative health or psychosocial outcomes. Having an ongoing medical condition during a pandemic may lead to greater psychological distress. Increased psychological distress may be due to preventative public health measures (e.g. lockdown), having an ongoing medical condition, or a combination of these factors. Methods: This study analyses data from an online cross-sectional national survey of adults in Ireland and investigates the relationship between comorbidity and psychological distress. Those with a medical condition (n=128) were compared to a control group without a medical condition (n=128) and matched according to age, gender, annual income, education, and work status during COVID-19. Participants and data were obtained during the first public lockdown in Ireland (27.03.2020–08.06.2020). Results: Individuals with existing medical conditions reported significantly higher levels of anxiety (p<.01) and felt less gratitude (p≤.001). Exploratory analysis indicates that anxiety levels were significantly associated with illness perceptions specific to COVID-19. Post-hoc analysis reveal no significant difference between the number of comorbidities and condition type (e.g. respiratory disorders). Conclusion: This research supports individualised supports for people with ongoing medical conditions through the COVID-19 pandemic, and has implications for the consideration of follow-up care specifically for mental health. Findings may also inform future public health policies and post-vaccine support strategies for vulnerable populations.
Funding Details: Health Research Board
Irish Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Journal: Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Copyright (published version): 2021 College of Psychiatrists of Ireland
Keywords: IrelandComorbidityCOVID-19PandemicMental HealthCoronavirus
DOI: 10.1017/ipm.2021.37
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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