BACKGROUND: The impact of general population lockdown implemented in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic needs to be evaluated . We describe here a longitudinal study on the mental health of adults in France .
METHODS: We did a secondary analysis of a web-based cohort, initially set up to study home and leisure injuries, in order to measure the consequences of the national lockdown implemented in France from 17 March 2020 to 11 May 2020, and to assess potential vulnerability and resilience factors . Eligible participants were invited to answer an online questionnaire designed to assess their living conditions and health during lockdown . Comparisons were done with answers provided 4.8 years earlier on average .
RESULTS: On 15th April 2020, we sent email invitations to 9598 participants recruited between November 2014 and December 2019 and 1237 volunteers took part in the study by completing the online questionnaire . The proportion of those with anxiety symptoms markedly increased from 17.3 to 20.1% . The average self-rated level of mental health decreased from 7.77 to 7.58 . Women, the elderly and the youngest appeared to be more vulnerable . A small living space (less than 30 m 2) was associated with an increase in depression symptoms (PHQ-9 score), and poorer self-rated physical health at recruitment was associated with an increase in anxiety symptoms (GAD-7 score). On the contrary, the average self-rated level of physical health markedly increased from 7.44 to 7.94 between recruitment and lockdown, and the proportion of those who reported a level of 9 or 10 jumped from 25.7% at recruitment to 43.1% during lockdown .
CONCLUSIONS: Mental health deteriorated during lockdown in France during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis . Overall, self-rated physical health improved but those who experienced a worse physical health were more likely to report anxiety symptoms.
MeSH: Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety, epidemiology, COVID-19, epidemiology, prevention & control, Depression, epidemiology, Female, France, epidemiology, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mental Health, statistics & numerical data, Middle Aged, Quarantine, psychology, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult
Index: Anxiety symptoms, COVID-19, Depression symptoms, Lockdown, Mental health