A biopsychosocial perspective of mental health risk in Italy during phase two of the COVID-19 lockdown

Martina Rossi, Margarida Jarego, Alexandra Ferreira-Valente, Jordi Miró, Elisabet Sánchez-Rodríguez, Antonella Ciaramella


Abstract: Introduction: Research into the first phase of the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy showed an association with an increased susceptibility to adverse mental health (MH) in the general population. We investigated in the same population the correlations between the various demographic, socioeconomic, biological/clinical history and psychological dimensions and MH in the second,
“opening-up”, phase of the lockdown. Methods: An anonymous online survey collected data from 26 May to 4 July 2020 on demographic, socioeconomic, perceived risk, general health and quality of life appraisals, worry, interference in life, life satisfaction, perceived happiness and MH by using Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5). Results: Of the 300 participants, only 195 responded to MH questions. Older age was positively associated with better MH (r=.15), as was education (r=.19). A negative correlation with MH, with medium-high effect size, was found with quality of life (r=.40) and health (r=.34) appraisals, and the factors “worry about sustenance” (r=.23) and “interference with life” (r=.32). A positive correlation, with strong effect size, was found between MH and life satisfaction (r=.53) and perception of happiness (r=.64). Discussion: During phase two of the lockdown, rather the real impact of COVID-19 restrictions on employment or economic resources, it was worry about finances that was associated with worse MH. Mental distress was associated with the loss of some positive psychological factors. From a homeostatic and biopsychosocial perspective of MH, life satisfaction and perceived
happiness represent important mental resources for counteracting the effects of lockdown on MH.


Lockdown, COVID-19, Mental health, Appraisals, Life satisfaction, Perceived happiness, Biopsychosocial.

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