The psychological impact of COVID-19 and restrictive measures in the world

Marco Passavanti, Alessandro Argentieri, Diego Maria Barbieri, Baowen Lou, Kasun Wijayaratna, Ali Seyed Foroutan Mirhosseini, Fusong Wang, Sahra Naseri, Issam Qamhia, Marius Tangerås, Matteo Pelliciari, Chun Hsing Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Background: In a short time, the COVID-19 pandemic turned into a global emergency. The fear of becoming infected and the lockdown measures have drastically changed people's daily routine. The aim of this study is to establish the psychological impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is entailing, particularly with regards to levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and to the risks of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Methods: The study, carried out with a sample of 1612 subjects distributed in seven countries (Australia, China, Ecuador, Iran, Italy, Norway and the United States), allowed us to collect information about the psychological impact of COVID-19. Results: The findings of this study show that the levels of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as the risks of PTSD, are higher than average in over half of the considered sample. The severity of these disorders significantly depends on gender, type of outdoor activities, characteristics of their homes, eventual presence of infected acquaintances, time dedicated to looking for related information (in the news and social networks), type of source information and, in part, to the level of education and income. Conclusions: We conclude that COVID-19 has a very strong psychological impact on the global population. This appears to be linked to the coping strategies adopted, level of mindful awareness, socio-demographic variables, people's habits and the way individuals use means of communication and information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-51
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Clinical psychology
  • Depression
  • Mental health
  • PTSD
  • Psychological Impact
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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