Resilience contributes to low emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak among the general population in Italy
Vittorio Lenzo, Maria Catena Quattropani, Alessandro Musetti, Corrado Zenesini, Maria Francesca Freda, Daniela Lemmo, Elena Vegni, Lidia Borghi, Giuseppe Plazzi, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Roberto Cattivelli, Emanuela Saita
BackgroundThe COVID-19 outbreak is severely affecting overall mental health with unknown psychological consequences. The Italian Government has implemented a massive lockdown to decrease the spread of the virus. Although a strong psychological impact is possible, few evidences are still available. Past studies have shown that resilience decreases the negative effects of stress promoting mental health. For these reasons, this study aimed to examine depression, anxiety, and stress among the
... n general population during the phase characterizing by lockdown, and to investigate the role of resilience as a potential predictor. MethodsA total sample of 6314 Italian people participated in this study. Participants were recruited between March 10 and May 4 2020 through an online survey, the majority of whom from Northern Italy. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21) (a measure of mental health status) and the Resilience Scale (RS) (a measure of resilience) were administered. Also, demographic data and lockdown related information were collected. DASS-21 cut-off scores were used to verify the mental status among the participants. Subsequently, a correlational analysis was carried out to examine relationships between DASS-21 and RS. Lastly, three hierarchical regression analyses were conducted using the three DASS-21 scales as dependent variables and the RS scales as independent variables controlling for age, gender, and education. ResultsThe prevalence of moderate to extremely severe symptoms among participants was 36.1% for depression, 28.7% for anxiety, and 35.6% for stress. Results of correlational analysis showed that resilience factors, such as meaningfulness, self-reliance, existential aloneness, and equanimity, are inversely associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. Results of regression analyses indicated that all the resilience factors were statistically significant in predicting anxiety, while meaningfulness, perseverance, existential aloneness, and equanimity predicted depression and stress. ConclusionsDuring the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak, about a third of respondents reported moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress. The present study suggests that psychological resilience may independently contribute to low emotional distress and psychological ill-being. These findings can help explain the variability of individual responses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Psychological interventions to enhance resilience might provide useful approaches to overcome COVID-related emotional impact.