Mental Health Poor for 11 Percent of U.K. Adults During COVID-19

Posted: May 17th 2021


We’re starting to get a significant handle on the impact of Covid in relation to mental health and this story along with the other mental health feature in casebook is very revealing. It's just a shame it doesn’t apply a rural filter to the analysis.

About 11 percent of U.K. adults experienced deteriorating or consistently poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online May 6 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Matthias Pierce, Ph.D., from the University of Manchester and colleagues tracked average mental health during the pandemic, characterised distinct mental health trajectories, and identified predictors of deterioration. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire was used to assess mental health in 19,763 adults.

The researchers observed a deterioration in average population mental health with onset of the pandemic, which did not begin improving until July 2020. Five distinct mental health trajectories were identified up to October 2020. Most participants had consistently good or very good mental health (39.3 and 37.5 percent, respectively). 

Twelve percent comprised a recovery group, who initially experienced a decline in mental health followed by improvement to prepandemic levels by October. For 7.0 percent, there was a steady deterioration in mental health during the pandemic, and for 4.1 percent, mental health declined initially and remained very poor throughout. 

The likelihood of having pre-existing mental or physical ill health, living in deprived neighbourhoods, and being non-White was increased for these two groups. Subsequent deterioration in mental health was predicted by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection, local lockdown, and financial difficulties.