Resilience in the Storm: Impacts of Changed Daily Lifestyles on Mental Health in Persons with Chronic Illnesses under the COVID-19 Pandemic
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Studies have shown individuals with chronic illnesses tend to experience poorer mental health compared to their counterparts without a chronic illness under the COVID-19 pandemic. The pervasive disruption on daily lifestyles due to social distancing could be a contributing factor. In this study, we collaborated with local patient support groups to explore the psychological adjustment among a group of community-dwelling individuals with chronic illnesses under the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong.
... demic in Hong Kong. We collected responses from 408 adults with one or more chronic illnesses using an online survey. Results show that about one in four participants experienced moderate to high levels of depression (26.0%), anxiety (26.2%) and stress (20.1%) symptoms measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and the World Health Organisation-Five Well-Being Index. While 62.3% (gatherings) to 91.9% (contact with others) of participants reported changes in their daily lifestyles, these changes—both an increase and a decrease—were related to poorer mental health. The relationship was mediated by psychological resilience, measured by the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale, with an estimate of indirect effect of −0.28 (95% confidence interval −0.44 to −0.10). In light of our findings, we urge social and healthcare professionals to support chronic illness patients to continue their daily lifestyles such as exercises and social contacts as much as possible by educating the public on feasible and practical preventive measures and enhance the psychological resilience of community-dwelling patients with scalable and efficacious psychological interventions.