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Risk of depression in family caregivers:unintended consequence of COVID-19

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dc.contributor.author Gallagher, Stephen
dc.contributor.author Wetherell, Mark A.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-10-28T10:32:53Z
dc.date.available 2020-10-28T10:32:53Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/9370
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is likely to exacerbate the symptoms of poor mental health in family caregivers. Aims To investigate whether rates of depressive symptomatology increased in caregivers during COVID-19 and whether the unintended consequences of health protective measures, i.e., social isolation, exacerbated this risk. Another aim was to see if caregivers accessed any online/phone psychological support during COVID. Method Data (1349 caregivers; 6178 non-caregivers) was extracted from Understanding Society, a UK population-level data-set. The General Health Questionnaire cut-off scores identified those who are likely to have depression. Results After adjustment for confounding caregivers had a higher risk of having depressive symptoms compared with non-caregivers, odds ratio (OR)=1.22 (95% CI 1.05–1.40, P=0.008) evidenced by higher levels of depression pre-COVID-19 (16.7%caregiversv.12.1%non caregivers)and during the COVID-19 pandemic (21.6%caregiversv. 17.9% non-caregivers), respectively. Further, higher levels of loneliness increased the risk of depression symptoms almost four-fold i caregivers, OR=3.85 (95%95%CI3.08–4.85,P<0.001), whereas accessing therapy attenuated the risk of depression (43%). A total of 60% of caregivers with depression symptoms reported not accessing any therapeutic support (for example online or face to face) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions COVID-19 has had a negative impact on family caregivers’ mental health with loneliness a significant contributor to depressive symptomatology. However, despite these detriments in mental health, the majority of caregivers do not access any online or phone psychiatric support. Finally, psychiatric services and healthcare professionals should aim to focus on reducing feelings of loneliness to support at-risk caregivers. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Royal Collegs of Psychiatrists en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries BJPsych Open;6, e119 pp. 1-5
dc.subject Caregivers en_US
dc.subject COVID-19 en_US
dc.subject depression en_US
dc.subject isolation en_US
dc.title Risk of depression in family caregivers:unintended consequence of COVID-19 en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1192/bjo.2020.99
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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