Mental Health, Sense of Coherence, and Interpersonal Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in Germany.
Preliminary data indicates that the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) pandemic may have a substantial impact on mental health and well-being. We assessed mental health in response to the lockdown in Germany between 1 April 2020 and 15 April 2020 using a cross-sectional online survey (n = 3545) with a mixed-methods approach. We found increased levels of psychosocial distress (Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) stress module), anxiety, depressive symptoms (PHQ-4), irritability, and a decrease in overall well-being (WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5)), sense of coherence (Short Form of the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-L9)), sexual contentment, and sleep quality. The four-week-prevalence of interpersonal violence was yet at 5% and included verbal, physical, and sexual violence. Participants reported finding comfort in family, friends, conversation, exercise, and activity. Findings are also in line with research showing that women seem to have more trouble coping with the pandemic and lockdown measures. Our observations demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures lead to a mental health burden even in a highly developed Western country and should, therefore, be taken seriously. The findings for interpersonal violence are alarming. Thus, we should sharpen our focus on the matter and activate and enhance supporting systems to help protect those affected.