ICRC Report Details Negative Effects of Pandemic On Mental Health In Brno

According to the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA), the pandemic has affected not only the physical health of the population but also their mental well-being, especially for women. The most significant trigger factors were loneliness, financial problems, and lack of exercise. The study was conducted in Brno by researchers from FNUSA together with the Mayo Clinic, a US non-profit organization. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.

Brno, May 13 (BD) – Researchers from the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) at FNUSA have published the results of the Cardiovize project, a long-term study of the health of residents of Brno. The study of mental health, which involved 715 participants, began in the spring of last year, when the government closed not only shops, services and businesses, but also the Czech border. The results support previous findings regarding the significant impact of the pandemic not only on the physical health of the population or on the economy, but also on mental well-being.

“The results showed that the incidence of increased stress and depressive symptoms increased by a factor of between 1.4 and 5.5 compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic,”, said Dr. Jan Sebastian Novotný, a member of the Neuroscience and Ageing in Translational Medicine research group at FNUSA. “This deterioration manifested itself in all age groups and was more pronounced in women,” he added.

According to the results, younger people – especially women – suffered more mentally, due to work or study insecurity or financial instability. The main triggering factors found in the study were loneliness, the financial effects of the restrictions, lack of exercise, or decline in sleep quality. On the other hand, the researchers found that older groups managed to maintain a higher level of resilience, i.e. the ability to maintain a standard level of functioning despite adverse circumstances.

The study’s research team highlights the need for action in response to results of this kind. “The observed increase in the incidence of stress and depressive symptoms, as well as many identified risk factors, can be prevented, diagnosed, and treated. It is therefore necessary to respond to these findings in a timely and targeted manner by setting up appropriate psychological and psychiatric help to reduce the risk of a subsequent pandemic of mental disorders in the population”, said Novotný.

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