As we reach nearly a year in quarantine, it’s safe to say that we’ve collectively experienced many milestones, moments of grief, and triumphs in isolation. But perhaps what’s made the greatest impact is stress, as particular mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, have been on the rise throughout the country and around the world.
According to Futurity, a nonprofit website dedicated to sharing research news from leading universities, one in three adults around the world is anxious or depressed due in part to the pandemic. The article also took a closer look at these findings, which were originally published in science journal PLOS ONE, and shared that those most affected by anxiety and depression related to COVID-19 are women, younger adults, individuals of lower socioeconomic status, those living in rural areas, and those considered high risk for severe illness from the virus.
Tazeen Jafar, a professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and lead author of this study, reflected on these rising concerns, telling Futurity that “the general public and healthcare professionals need to be aware of the high burden of psychological distress during the pandemic as well as education on coping strategies.” Jafar went on to mention that people should be encouraged to seek counseling and access services with the help of referrals.
When it comes to clinical research, it’s essential to consider all aspects of a patient’s care during a study. In one of our blog posts from October 2020, “COVID-19, Mental Health, and Clinical Trials“, we shared tips for pharmas to consider when talking to patients involved in a clinical trial. Not only are these tips still relevant, but they should also be widely practiced as mental health concerns continue to grow.
To reiterate some of our advice from the October post, patients should be directed to the following resources to learn more about symptoms or ways to access help:
- Mental Health America’s COVID-19 information and resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Coping with Stress” page
- US Department of Health and Human Services’ list of free and confidential support
If you have any other questions regarding best practices, or if you’re interested in learning how Praxis can help with your clinical study, feel free to reach out for more information.