Coronavirus: A broad population mental health survey

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The world is facing a coronavirus epidemic. In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, governments are taking steps to limit contacts and activities. As part of this effort, UCLouvain is launching an extensive survey to find out how and how containment affects the psychological and social well-being of the population. This survey will be proposed, as of Saturday 21 March 2020, to the Belgian, French, Dutch and British populations. The objective? To determine the impact of containment on the psychological and social well-being of the population.

The questions researchers are asking:

- In what way and, more importantly, to what extent has the lifestyle of the population changed before and during confinement (social, sporting, cultural activities, use of social networks)?

- How do people feel today about confinement: in terms of health, mental health, physical activity, employment, social contacts, etc.?

- How important is the isolation of the population? What help can they count on? Is it supported morally? Help from neighbours? Social ties?

- Respondents' health information: are you a corona carrier or not, infected with the flu?

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- In terms of work: how many working days in the week, how (teleworking), what is the situation in terms of income, (over)workload, child-related burden?

- What are the impacts on mental health: concentration, sleep, sense of (in)usefulness, stress?

The objective of Vincent Lorant, a UCLouvain researcher, is to "Know the effect of confinement on social relations and therefore on mental health". Why?" Social relationships are an important component of mental health. Confinement reduces social contacts. What will be the impact in the short, medium and long term? »

Few studies, to date, have studied the modification of social relationships on mental health. "This survey will provide elements of answers".

Is there any other interest in this study? "Currently, the government has focused its energy on managing the epidemic. As a result, the other risks have been forgotten. Yet part of the population is psychologically fragile. These people need health care, which is currently suspended. "The situation could deteriorate in terms of mental health (suicides)".

This research is coordinated by Vincent Lorant, Professor of Sociology of Health at UCLouvain, in collaboration with the University of Antwerp and the Institut de recherche et documentation en économie de la santé (IRDES) in France.

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