The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event entailing long-term consequences on population health and welfare. Those who contracted the coronavirus may have suffered from both physical and mental health issues that unfold the need for tailored intervention strategies. Hence, our study aims to investigate the psychological and social consequences of COVID-19 on a sample of 86 participants, encompassing 43 patients (clinical group; 25 women; mean age = 50.4 +/- 10.1 years) recruited from Bari University Hospital, 19 of whom were hospitalized due to the disease. The remaining 43 were individuals not fallen ill with COVID-19 to date (control group; 25 women; mean age = 50.4 +/- 10.1 years). The investigation yielded significant gender differences in post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, and representation of interpersonal distance (IPD), evaluated through the IES-R, the BDI-II, and the IVAS task, respectively. This pattern of results was not replicated in the control group. In general, participants who reported having experienced the most intense post-traumatic symptoms also presented a greater mood deflection and, more specifically, within the clinical group women obtained the highest scores on both scales. Women reported higher IES-R and BDI-II scores compared to men, that could indicate that women who have contracted COVID-19 are more exposed to post-traumatic and depressive symptoms. Our results also showed a significant effect of COVID-19 on IPD with a tendency of disease-experienced individuals to increase their preferred IPD from adults, children, and elderly people. Regarding gender differences in mood and proxemic behavior, a correlation between depressive symptoms and probable PTSD and a further correlation between probable PTSD and greater IPD were found in women from both clinical and control group. Overall, these findings might contribute to a better understanding of gender-based implications of the current pandemic on mental health, also leading to the development of integrated yet personalized intervention strategies.

The COVID-19 Stress Perceived on Social Distance and Gender-Based Implications

Sbordone, Filomena Leonela;Ruggiero, Gennaro;Iachini, Santa;
2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event entailing long-term consequences on population health and welfare. Those who contracted the coronavirus may have suffered from both physical and mental health issues that unfold the need for tailored intervention strategies. Hence, our study aims to investigate the psychological and social consequences of COVID-19 on a sample of 86 participants, encompassing 43 patients (clinical group; 25 women; mean age = 50.4 +/- 10.1 years) recruited from Bari University Hospital, 19 of whom were hospitalized due to the disease. The remaining 43 were individuals not fallen ill with COVID-19 to date (control group; 25 women; mean age = 50.4 +/- 10.1 years). The investigation yielded significant gender differences in post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, and representation of interpersonal distance (IPD), evaluated through the IES-R, the BDI-II, and the IVAS task, respectively. This pattern of results was not replicated in the control group. In general, participants who reported having experienced the most intense post-traumatic symptoms also presented a greater mood deflection and, more specifically, within the clinical group women obtained the highest scores on both scales. Women reported higher IES-R and BDI-II scores compared to men, that could indicate that women who have contracted COVID-19 are more exposed to post-traumatic and depressive symptoms. Our results also showed a significant effect of COVID-19 on IPD with a tendency of disease-experienced individuals to increase their preferred IPD from adults, children, and elderly people. Regarding gender differences in mood and proxemic behavior, a correlation between depressive symptoms and probable PTSD and a further correlation between probable PTSD and greater IPD were found in women from both clinical and control group. Overall, these findings might contribute to a better understanding of gender-based implications of the current pandemic on mental health, also leading to the development of integrated yet personalized intervention strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/519309
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