Emotional Distress in the Early Stages of the Corona Related Lockdowns Depending on the Severity of the Pandemic and Emergency Measures: A Comparative Online-survey in Germany, Austria and Italy [post]

Christiane Eichenberg, Martin Grossfurthner, Sybille Kietaibl, Greta Riboli, Rosita Borlimi, Stefana Holocher-Benetka
2021 unpublished
Background: The first wave of the COVID-19-pandemic hit different countries with varying degrees of severity, so that differences in the type and level of emergency measures were also necessary. It can be assumed that the psychological burden was higher in countries with a more severe process of the pandemic (Italy) than in countries with a less severe (Germany, Austria). Objective: To investigate und contrast the wellbeing of the population in Italy, Austria and Germany in the early phase of
more » ... e first lockdown. Method: Online survey on N= 4289 individuals. The questionnaire comprised 1. self-administered section, exploring the dimensions perceived severity of COVID-19, perceived risk of disease, concerns related to COVID-19, emergency measures acceptance and emotional distress due to emergency measures 2. standardized scales to record personality determinants: Stress-CopingStyle-Questionnaire, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory. Results: The three countries displayed significant differences in all personality dimensions. Italian participants assessed the COVID-19 virus as much more dangerous, but despite the prevalence of the virus, the subjective risk of disease is perceived to be lower in Italy. This could be a positive effect of the restrictive curfews set by the government in Italy. The emergency measures were generally perceived to be very effective in all three countries, but due to duration and the severity of the measures the fear and stress-reaction was the strongest within the Italians. Conclusion: The stricter measures in Italy prevented an application of many positive stress processing strategies, which, in turn, fostered the preservation of stresses and fear.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-155804/v1 fatcat:hgdupdmafvf4vkbhdcmeoajblu