Research Study on the Psychosocial Effects of the Pandemic Measures

January 14th, 2021 | by

Since April 2020, a working group at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics led by Professor Klaus Mathiak has been researching the psychosocial effects of the measures implemented in Germany due to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, distance learning, working from home, contact restrictions). For this purpose, an anonymous online survey was created (, which, according to the working group, complies with the GDPR and has been reviewed by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine at RWTH Aachen University. The survey takes a maximum of 30 minutes to complete (16 minutes on average) and collects demographic data as well as information on COVID-19 (for example, time in quarantine), daily habits (exercise, diet), mental health (including violence and suicidal tendencies), life satisfaction, and relationship quality (satisfaction, quality, stability).

The first survey rounds in April 2020 and July 2020 were completed by nearly 1,800 participants. Currently, the third and, for the time being, the final, survey round is underway in order to be able to make statements about developments since the beginning of the pandemic. Initial analyses show, for example, that women feel more depressed as a result of the coronavirus measures, do not sleep as well, and experience more physical symptoms of anxiety compared to men. In addition, parents or couples with children are more often irritable, yet feel sad less often compared to couples without children.

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