HealthDay News — Short-term mental health consequences of COVID-19 are equally high across affected countries and across gender, according to a review published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research.

Jude Mary Cénat, Ph.D., from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 55 peer-reviewed studies with 189,159 participants to examine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychological distress related to COVID-19. The proportion of individuals with symptoms of these conditions was generated, and between-group differences were examined for gender, health care workers, and regions where studies were conducted.

The researchers found that the prevalence of depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and psychological distress was 15.97, 15.15, 23.87, 21.94, and 13.29 percent, respectively. The only between-group difference was a higher prevalence of insomnia among health care workers than others.

“This study shows that regardless of gender, group, or region, the current pandemic is impacting the mental health of affected populations,” the authors write. “This study provides initial evidence for the implementation of mental health prevention and intervention programs that provide holistic care to affected individuals.”

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