In the ongoing situation, when the world is dominated by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the development of self-care programs appears to be insufficient, while their role in mental health may be crucial. The aim of the study was to evaluate the associations between self-care activities and depression in the general Slovak population, but also in its individual gender and age categories. This was achieved by validating the self-care screening instrument, assessing differences, and evaluating the associations using quantile regression analysis. The final research sample consisted of 806 participants [males: 314 (39%), females: 492 (61%)] and data were collected through an online questionnaire from February 12, 2021 to February 23, 2021. Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression (α = 0.89) and Self-Care Activities Screening Scale (SASS-14) [health consciousness (HC) (α = 0.82), nutrition and physical activity (NPA) (α = 0.75), sleep quality (SLP) (α = 0.82), and interpersonal and intrapersonal coping strategies (IICS) (α = 0.58)] were used as screening measures. Mild depressive symptoms were found in 229 participants (28.41%), moderate depressive symptoms in 154 participants (19.11%), moderately severe depressive symptoms in 60 participants (7.44%) and severe depressive symptoms in 43 participants (5.33%). The main findings revealed the fact that individual self-care activities were associated with depression. This supported the idea that well-practiced self-care activities should be an immediate part of an individual's life in order to reduce depressive symptoms. Sleep quality played an important role, while HC indicated the need for increased attention. Other dimensions of self-care also showed significant results that should not be overlooked. In terms of depression, females and younger individuals need targeted interventions. The supportive educational intervention developed based on the self-care theory can help manage and maintain mental health during a stressful period, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Health policy leaders should focus on health-promoting preventive self-care interventions, as the demand for them increases even more during the pandemic.
Communities in Cape Cod, Massachusetts were exposed to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) through contaminated drinking water from 1969 to 1983. PCE exposure during adulthood has well-established neurotoxic effects; however, long-term impacts stemming from early life exposure, especially adverse effects on sleep quality, are not well understood.
The present analysis was based on data from the Cape Cod Health Study, a retrospective cohort study of the long-term neurotoxic impacts of early-life exposure to PCE-contaminated drinking water. Exposure to PCE-contaminated water was estimated using a validated leaching and transport model. Measures of sleep quality were obtained from self-administered questionnaires. Generalized estimating equations were used to generate risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals to estimate the association between early-life PCE exposure and sleep quality among 604 participants.
Compared to unexposed participants, any PCE exposure during early life was associated with 1.57 times the risk of reporting breathing pauses during sleep (95% CI 0.92–2.68). Low-level exposure to PCE was associated with 1.50 times the risk of reporting sleep apnea or other sleep disorders (95% CI 0.78–2.89), while high levels of exposure had comparable risk compared to no exposure (RR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.50–1.79). Weak or no associations were observed for other sleep quality outcomes. In stratified analyses participants with mental illness and/or substance use disorder had increased risk ratios for short sleep duration associated with PCE exposure.
These findings suggest that early-life exposure to PCE may be associated with a moderate increase in the risk of reporting breathing pauses during sleep in adulthood and that a history of mental illness and/or substance use disorder may exacerbate the risk of short sleep duration.
BACKGROUND and OBJECTIVES: This study aims to define changes in anxiety and depression among medical students while evaluating the association of sleep habits and other risk factors, including exercise habits and a diagnosis of chronic disease. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was also evaluated.
DESIGN: A cohort of first- and second-year medical students was evaluated longitudinally using survey methods to quantify changes from pre-medical school and summer break to each semester in medical school throughout years one and two.
METHODS: Data was analyzed using Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) on the numeric responses of General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index. Additional assessments evaluated exercise habits, chronic disease, and impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.
RESULTS: Depression, anxiety, and sleep habits displayed a cyclical change that was associated with the academic cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic was never significant. Medical students who had a chronic disease diagnosis had increased severity. Exercise did not play a role.
CONCLUSION: The main driver for depression, anxiety, and poor sleep quality was the academic cycle, while the COVID-19 pandemic did not have an impact on mental health.
Since the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, adolescents' emerging mental health and behavior issues have been an international public health concern. This longitudinal study aimed to examine the situation of poor sleep quality, anxiety, and depressive symptoms among Chinese adolescents and to explore the associations between them before and during COVID-19. A total of 1,952 middle and high school students as eligible participants at baseline (pre-COVID-19, Wave 1; response rate: 98.79%), 1,831 eligible students were followed up at Wave 2 (October 2019 to December 2019, pre-COVID-19; retention rate: 93.80%), and 1,790 completed the follow-up at Wave 3 (during the COVID-19; retention rate: 97.80%). The mean age of the baseline students was 13.56 (SD: 1.46) years. The differences in anxiety and depressive symptoms between Wave 1, Wave 2, and Wave 3 were not statistically significant. The proportion of students with poor sleep quality increased over time, from Wave 1 (21.0%) to Wave 3 (26.0%, OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.17–1.60, P = 0.001) and from Wave 2 (21.9%) to Wave 3 (OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.11–1.51, P < 0.001). The cross-lagged generalized linear mixed models revealed that the concurrent and cross-lagged associations of poor sleep quality with anxiety symptoms across the three waves were significant (P < 0.05) and vice versa. Only a marginally significant positive cross-lagged association between poor sleep quality at Wave 2 and depressive symptoms at Wave 3 was found (standardized β estimate = 0.044, SE = 0.022, P = 0.045). Sleep quality was adversely affected during COVID-19, and the bidirectional associations of poor sleep quality with anxiety symptoms could not be neglected.
This multicenter cohort study investigated the differences between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related symptoms and post-COVID symptoms between male and female COVID-19 survivors. Clinical and hospitalization data were collected from hospital medical records in a sample of individuals recovered from COVID-19 at five public hospitals in Spain. A predefined list of post-COVID symptoms was systematically assessed, but patients were free to report any symptom. Anxiety/depressive levels and sleep quality were also assessed. Adjusted multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify the association of sex with post-COVID related-symptoms. A total of 1969 individuals (age: 61, SD: 16 years, 46.4% women) were assessed 8.4 months after discharge. No overall significant sex differences in COVID-19 onset symptoms at hospital admission were found. Post-COVID symptoms were present in up to 60% of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors eight months after the infection. The number of post-COVID symptoms was 2.25 for females and 1.5 for males. After adjusting by all variables, female sex was associated with ≥3 post-COVID symptoms (adj OR 2.54, 95%CI 1.671–3.865, p < 0.001), the presence of post-COVID fatigue (adj OR 1.514, 95%CI 1.040–2.205), dyspnea (rest: adj OR 1.428, 95%CI 1.081–1.886, exertion: adj OR 1.409, 95%CI 1.109–1.791), pain (adj OR 1.349, 95%CI 1.059–1.720), hair loss (adj OR 4.529, 95%CI 2.784–7.368), ocular problems (adj OR 1.981, 95%CI 1.185–3.312), depressive levels (adj OR 1.606, 95%CI 1.002–2.572) and worse sleep quality (adj OR 1.634, 95%CI 1.097–2.434). Female sex was a risk factor for the development of some long-term post-COVID symptoms including mood disorders. Healthcare systems should consider sex differences in the management of long haulers.