29 Apr 2021
Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
OBJECTIVE: The quarantine/self-isolation measures implemented to retard the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may negatively affect the mental health of the population. The present study aimed to explore the impact of the psychological symptoms on the occurrence of cognitive failures in a large sample of home-dwelling Italian individuals during quarantine/self-isolation for COVID-19. METHODS: We employed an online questionnaire using a virtual platform of Google Moduli. The questionnaire included an assessment of cognitive failures evaluated by the Perceived Memory and Attentional Failures Questionnaire (PerMAFaQ) and of resilience, coping style, depression, anger, and anxiety. RESULTS: The online questionnaire was completed by 4175 participants revealing that about 30% of participants complained of cognitive failures at least sometimes during quarantine/self-isolation, whereas some respondents reported very frequent cognitive failures. Moreover, resilience was found to mediate the relationships between depressive and anger symptoms and cognitive failures. Although no difference was found on PerMAFaQ among smart-workers, non-smart-workers, and those currently not at work, people not working at the moment complained of more frequent cognitive failures. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate the need to implement psychological support intervention, particularly for vulnerable groups, to reduce anxiety, depression, and anger, and of psychoeducational interventions to enhance resilience reducing possible long-term cognitive consequences of the quarantine.