One year on: What we have learned about the psychological effects of COVID-19 social restrictions: A meta-analysis
journal contributionposted on 2022-08-01, 00:00 authored by Laura KnoxLaura Knox, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas, D Romano, J A Feeney, J A Simpson
This article reports on the first meta-analysis of studies on the association between government-imposed social restrictions and mental health outcomes published during the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-three studies (N = 131,844) were included. Social restrictions were significantly associated with increased mental health symptoms overall (d =.41 [CI 95%.17–.65]), including depression (d =.83 [CI 95%.30–1.37]), stress (d =.21 [CI 95%.01–.42]) and loneliness (d =.30 [CI 95%.07–.52]), but not anxiety (d =.26 [CI 95% −.04–.56]). Subgroup analyses demonstrated that the strictness and length of restrictions had divergent effects on mental health outcomes, but there are concerns regarding study quality. The findings provide critical insights for future research on the effects of COVID-19 social restrictions.