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Project #24:
Incidence of mental illness following coronavirus infection in the community.

  • Topic areas: Post-COVID health impacts [e.g. long COVID]

Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression have become more prevalent throughout the population during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, but the existing evidence as to whether people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at greater risk is mixed. This study will therefore examine rates of common mental disorders, serious mental illness and mental health behaviours (such as self-harm) in people aged 16 years or over infected with SARS-CoV-2, for up to a year after the first testing positive for the virus. Rates of these conditions will be compared with those in several non-infected control groups (people who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, and people diagnosed with influenza before and during the pandemic) to ascertain the extent to which risk is elevated after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings of this study may identify groups of the population particularly at risk of mental health conditions following infection, and inform public health policies and service provision around mental health.