The University of Basel, through Prof. Dominique de Quervain, launched a national study shortly after the beginning of the sanitary crisis. The goal was to identify risk and resilience factors and to test the effectiveness of existing measures in the field of mental health.
Two surveys were conducted, the first one from April 6th to 8th 2020, during the first lockdown, while the second one took place from May 11th to June 1st 2020, after the restrictions were lifted. More than 10'000 people from all over Switzerland took part in the anonymous surveys.
The results showed that although public fear of coronavirus decreased after the first containment, stress levels and severe depressive symptoms remain high even after the restrictions were lifted. A history of psychological problems is an important risk factor for the development of severe depressive symptoms. Interestingly, older people and men appear to be less prone to depressive symptoms during the pandemic. Finally, certain factors already known to have a protective effect with respect to stress and depression, such as physical activity or the practice of a hobby, may be beneficial for mental health during this health crisis.
The complete results of the study are available on coronastress.ch