Although recognised as effective measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing and self-isolation have been suggested to generate a burden throughout the population. To provide scientific data to help identify risk factors for the psychosocial strain during the COVID-19 outbreak, an international cross-disciplinary online survey was circulated in April 2020. This report outlines the mental, emotional and behavioural consequences of COVID-19 home confinement. The ECLB-COVID19 electronic survey was designed by a steering group of multidisciplinary scientists, following a structured review of the literature. The survey was uploaded and shared on the Google online survey platform and was promoted by thirty-five research organizations from Europe, North Africa, Western Asia and the Americas. Questions were presented in a differential format with questions related to responses “before” and “during” the confinement period. 1047 replies (54% women) from Western Asia (36%), North Africa (40%), Europe (21%) and other continents (3%) were analysed. The COVID-19 home confinement evoked a negative effect on mental wellbeing and emotional status (P < 0.001; 0.43 ≤ d ≤ 0.65) with a greater proportion of individuals experiencing psychosocial and emotional disorders (+10% to +16.5%). These psychosocial tolls were associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviours with a greater proportion of individuals experiencing (i) physical (+15.2%) and social (+71.2%) inactivity, (ii) poor sleep quality (+12.8%), (iii) unhealthy diet behaviours (+10%), and (iv) unemployment (6%). Conversely, participants demonstrated a greater use (+15%) of technology during the confinement period. These findings elucidate the risk of psychosocial strain during the COVID-19 home confinement period and provide a clear remit for the urgent implementation of technology-based intervention to foster an Active and Healthy Confinement Lifestyle AHCL).
- Public health
- Mental wellbeing