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Table 2 Stress and mental health during first COVID-19 lockdown and changes compared to before the pandemic

From: Individual changes in stress, depression, anxiety, pathological worry, posttraumatic stress, and health anxiety from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic in adults from Southeastern Germany

Variables Total samplea Change category subsamplesd
Perceived decrease Perceived no change Perceived increase
Scoreb Clin. rel.c   Scoreb Clin. rel.c   Scoreb Clin. rel.c   Scoreb Clin. rel.c
M (SD) n (%) n (%)e M (SD) n (%) n (%)e M (SD) n (%) n (%)e M (SD) n (%)
Perceived stress
Total 39.66 (21.44) 143 (36.1) 60 (15.2) 24.42 (17.25) 6 (1.5) 233 (58.8) 34.34 (17.42) 57 (14.4) 103 (26.0) 60.57 (16.62) 80 (20.2)
Worries 36.75 (25.78) 140 (35.4) 32 (8.1) 25.42 (23.0) 5 (1.3) 224 (56.6) 26.37 (19.23) 39 (9.8) 140 (35.4) 55.95 (24.54) 96 (24.2)
Tension 40.76 (27.02) 171 (43.2) 66 (16.7) 21.62 (20.62) 8 (2.0) 203 (51.3) 32.38 (21.51) 59 (14.9) 127 (32.1) 64.09 (21.76) 104 (26.3)
Joy 52.61 (23.89) 141 (35.6) 151 (38.1) 37.79 (20.45) 94 (23.7) 205 (51.8) 60.59 (21.32) 43 (10.9) 40 (10.1) 67.67 (19.42) 4 (1.0)
Demands 33.74 (25.31) 132 (33.3) 155 (39.1) 18.67 (17.64) 16 (4.0) 169 (42.7) 34.75 (20.59) 57 (14.4) 72 (18.2) 63.80 (21.69) 59 (14.9)
Mental health problems
Depression 4.68 (4.70) 55 (13.9) 14 (3.5) 5.57 (5.77) 2 (0.5) 279 (70.5) 2.94 (3.20) 12 (3.0) 103 (26.0) 9.29 (4.84) 41 (10.4)
PTSD 19.57 (12.88) 142 (35.9) 12 (3.0) 19.25 (15.69) 3 (0.8) 283 (71.5) 15.59 (10.59) 66 (16.7) 101 (25.5) 30.75 (11.87) 73 (18.4)
Anxiety 2.16 (2.90) 42 (10.6) 9 (2.3) 3.22 (4.52) 2 (0.5) 365 (92.2) 1.76 (2.28) 22 (5.6) 22 (5.6) 8.36 (4.08) 18 (4.5)
Path. Worry 37.83 (18.73) 83 (21.0) 11 (2.8) 36.45 (16.48) 2 (0.5) 346 (87.4) 35.51 (17.81) 54 (13.6) 39 (9.8) 58.82 (13.88) 27 (6.8)
Health Anxiety 17.19 (11.07) 113 (28.5) 3 (0.8) 23.33 (6.66) 1 (0.3) 364 (91.9) 15.86 (10.24) 86 (21.7) 29 (7.3) 33.28 (8.39) 26 (6.6)
  1. COVID-19 coronavirus disease 2019, PTSD posttraumatic stress disorder, Path pathological, Clin. rel clinically relevant
  2. a N=396 participants (100.0%)
  3. b Questionnaire scores for PSQ-20 (Perceived-Stress-Questionnaire) total, and the subscales worries, tension, joy, and demands (each range 0–100), DASS21 (Depression-Anxiety-Stress-Scales) subscales depression and anxiety (each range 0–21), PTSS-10 (Posttraumatic-Symptom-Scale; range 0–60), PSWQ-PW (Penn-State-Worry-Questionnaire-Past-Week; range 0–90), and MK-HAI (German-modified-Health-Anxiety-Inventory; range 0–56), all assessing the participants’ state during lockdown
  4. c Number and percentage (within the total sample) of participants with clinically relevant questionnaire scores during lockdown according to cut-offs stated by the questionnaire authors (≥10 for DASS21 depression, ≥24 for PTSS-10, and ≥6 for DASS21 anxiety), or according to criterion c thresholds for clinical significance calculated with reference to clinical samples from the literature (≥46.37 for PSQ-20 total, ≥44.84 for PSQ-20 worries, ≥45.77 for PSQ-20 tension, ≥44.66 for PSQ-20 joy, ≥40.02 for PSQ-20 demands, ≥54.54 for PSWQ-PW, and ≥23.93 for MK-HAI)
  5. d Adapted versions of the stated questionnaires were used to measure perceived changes during first lockdown in comparison to before the COVID-19 pandemic on item level (–2 much less than before corona; +2 much more than before corona). Change indices (–2 strong decrease; +2 strong increase) were calculated for each participant and each outcome variable by averaging the change values for the respective questionnaire items, and were grouped into three change categories (–2.00 to –0.50 decrease; –0.49 to +0.49 no change; +0.50 to +2.00 increase)
  6. e Absolute and relative frequencies of participants with a perceived decrease, no change, or increase in perceived stress and mental health problems during first lockdown in comparison to before the COVID-19 pandemic