Covid-19 home confinement negatively impacts social participation and life satisfaction: A worldwide multicenter study

Achraf Ammar*, Hamdi Chtourou, Omar Boukhris, Khaled Trabelsi, Liwa Masmoudi, Michael Brach, Bassem Bouaziz, Ellen Bentlage, Daniella How, Mona Ahmed, Patrick Mueller, Notger Mueller, Hsen Hsouna, Asma Aloui, Omar Hammouda, Laisa Liane Paineiras-Domingos, Annemarie Braakman-Jansen, Christian Wrede, Sofia Bastoni, Carlos Soares PernambucoLeonardo Mataruna, Morteza Taheri, Khadijeh Irandoust, Aïmen Khacharem, Nicola L. Bragazzi, Jana Strahler, Jad Adrian, Albina Andreeva, Samira C. Khoshnami, Evangelia Samara, Vasiliki Zisi, Parasanth Sankar, Waseem N. Ahmed, Mohamed Romdhani, Jan Delhey, Stephen J. Bailey, Nicholas T. Bott, Faiez Gargouri, Lotfi Chaari, Hadj Batatia, Gamal Mohamed Ali, Osama Abdelkarim, Mohamed Jarraya, Kais El Abed, Nizar Souissi, Lisette Van Gemert-Pijnen, Bryan L. Riemann, Laurel Riemann, Wassim Moalla, Robbert Sanderman, ECLB-COVID19 Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Public health recommendations and governmental measures during the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have enforced numerous restrictions on daily living including social distancing, isolation, and home confinement. While these measures are imperative to mitigate spreading of COVID-19, the impact of these restrictions on psychosocial health is undefined. Therefore, an international online survey was launched in April 2020 to elucidate the behavioral and lifestyle consequences of COVID-19 restrictions. This report presents the preliminary results from more than one thousand responders on social participation and life satisfaction. Methods: Thirty-five research organizations from Europe, North-Africa, Western Asia, and the Americas promoted the survey through their networks to the general society, in 7 languages (English, German, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and Slovenian). Questions were presented in a differential format with questions related to responses “before” and “during” confinement conditions. Results: 1047 participations (54% women) from Asia (36%), Africa (40%), Europe (21%), and others (3%) were included in the analysis. Findings revealed psychosocial strain during the enforced COVID-19 home confinement. Large decreases (p < 0.001) in the amount of social activity through family (−58%), friends/neighbors (−44.9%), or entertainment (−46.7%) were triggered by the enforced confinement. These negative effects on social participation were also associated with lower life satisfaction (−30.5%) during the confinement period. Conversely, the social contact score through digital technologies significantly increased (p < 0.001) during the confinement period with more individuals (+24.8%) being socially connected through digital technology. Conclusion: These preliminary findings elucidate the risk of psychosocial strain during the early COVID-19 home confinement period in 2020. Therefore, in order to mitigate the negative psychosocial effects of home confinement, implementation of national strategies focused on promoting social inclusion through a technology-based solution is strongly suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6237
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Life satisfaction
  • Pandemic
  • Public health
  • Social participation

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