Coronavirus Online Survey Extension Study
The COVID19 pandemic and related stressors are unprecedented in modern history. The current coronavirus outbreak is much larger in scope, and the concomitant stressors impact wider circles of the population, beyond patients and frontline health workers. Widespread measures enacted to mitigate the spread of the virus have disrupted everyday life in ways that parallel disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, though on a global, rather than regional scale. Studies of the mental health impact of disasters point not only to individual factors but also to structural factors as important predictors of better or worse mental health outcomes.
While it is well established that stressors can have direct and detrimental impacts in individuals across the lifespan, we have relatively little data on more extreme and complex stressors such as those presented by the current situation. Moreover, much of the existing data on previous national or global-scale crises (e.g. SARS, 9/11) were forced to rely on retrospective assessments of pre-crisis individual differences in health or functioning. Retrospective reporting in the context of a disaster is a major weakness. Direct assessments of health before a crisis provides the opportunity to examine risk and protective factors with greater precision. Here, we propose to address this gap in knowledge by inviting community participants from our existing NKI Rockland Sample research program who have already contributed to a deeply characterized resource of physical and mental health information across the lifespan prior to the COVID19 outbreak, to provide a deeper understanding of individual and structural differences that contribute to mental health and functioning in response to the stressors associated with the pandemic.
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