20 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a complete lockdown in many countries and Italy was the first country interested in Europe, as the cases spread very quickly with a high rate of mortality. While the lockdown strategy is an essential step to curb the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases, it can have a significative impact on mental health on the population involved, that is still not well known and must be explored. The objective of the present research is to investigate the Quality of Life (QoL) and Symptoms of PTSD (PTSS) encountered during the quarantine period (April 2020) due to the spread of COVID-19 in Italy. Participants (N = 1839; 1430 females and 409 males), who were volunteers and anonymous, adults (18-73 years), were drawn from a convenience sample of the general population and asked to fill out an online questionnaire, after giving an informed written consent. The General Health Questionnaire (GH12), used to assess health related QoL, identified 24.5% of respondents as problematic, and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), used to assess PTSS, identified the 23.5% with clinical scores. Results showed that married people/cohabitants, non-workers, and those with a lower level of education perceived a better QoL and less PTSS. The most frequent emotions felt during the first month of quarantine and referred to by participants were sadness (72%), boredom (54.5%), impotence (52%), and anxiety (50%). The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the most stressful events in recent times worldwide and poses a major challenge for social, economic, and, above all, psychological resources of the population that must be assessed and supported if insufficient.