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This study reports on the changes in stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms of subscribers after 3 months using Text4Hope, a supportive text messaging program designed to provide support during the pandemic.
Standardized self-report measures were used to evaluate perceived stress (measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 [PSS-10]), anxiety (measured with the General Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 [GAD-7]), and depressive symptoms (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]), at baseline and 3rd month (n = 373).
After 3 months of using Text4Hope, subscribers’ self-reports revealed significant (p< 0.001) mean score reductions compared with baseline on: the GAD-7 by 22.7%, PHQ-9 by 10.3%, and PSS-10 scores by 5.7%. Reductions in inferred prevalence rates for moderate to high symptoms were also observed, with anxiety demonstrating the largest reduction (15.7%).
Observed Text4Hope-related reductions in psychological distress during COVID-19 indicate that Text4Hope is an effective, convenient, and accessible means of implementing a population-level psychological intervention.
To examine the impact of relationship status on levels of stress, anxiety, and depression during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to identify relationship status groups who are at greater risk of mental health difficulties.
The sample was drawn from individuals who subscribed to the Text4Hope program, a cognitive behavioral therapy inspired text messaging service developed to support Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey link was sent to the subscribers to ascertain their relationship status and assess psychopathology using the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Data analysis was carried out using SPSS-26 for descriptive statistics.
Within the first 6 weeks of the pandemic, 8267 of 44·992 subscribers responded to the online survey giving a response rate of 19.4%. Mean scores on the PSS, GAD-7, and PHQ-9 were highest among those who were single and lowest among those who were widowed. Overall, mean scores on the PHQ-9 were higher in groups who self-identified as separated or divorced when compared with groups who identified as having partners, including the categories of married or cohabiting.
Relationship status during the COVID-19 pandemic has an influence on the mental health of individuals. Our findings highlight relationship groups at risk of mental health problems during the pandemic and for whom treatments and mitigation should be targeted.
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