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Covid-19 and impact on mental health: a longitudinal, multi-national study (C-Me). - prosjektbeskrivelse
The corona pandemic represents the largest global health crisis of this century. Although Norway so far has successfully limited spread of the virus, the mitigating factors and the general stress amidst the pandemic may have affected the population’s mental health. There is an urgent need for research on the putative consequences to mental health across the pandemic for the population in Norway.
The research project C-Me will use data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child cohort (MoBa) to answer key questions regarding the mental health impact (i.e. anxiety, depression, eating disorders) of Covid-19 in the adolescent and adult population. In MoBa more than 90 000 families have volunteered with information on mental and physical health with repeated questionnaires, as well as provided blood samples. In addition, we will combine MoBa data with information from public health registries. Since MoBa includes data from before the pandemic, we will be able to track mental health changes across the pandemic considering the pre-pandemic mental health. We will investigate if and to what degree factors like job loss, corona infection, or homeschooling have led to stress and psychiatric symptoms in vulnerable individuals. One key advantage of C-Me is the available genetic data, which may be used to investigate the interplay between genetic vulnerability for mental disorders and environmental factors across the pandemic. By collaboration with partners from other Nordic countries and Estonia, where similar data have been collected during the pandemic, we will be able to compare mental health effects across countries with varying burden of Covid-19 and mitigating factors.
C-Me will not only give new knowledge on the effect of the pandemic, but also how people in general cope with individual or societal stressors. The corona pandemic may thus serve as a model to study if and to what extent major shifts in ordinary routine life impact on the individuals’ mental health.
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Helga Ask, Mental Disorders, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen, Child Health and Development, Norwegian Institute of Public Health