COVID-19: depression has increased significantly among UK adults

  • Lob E & al
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 27 oct. 2020

  • de Liz Scherer
  • Clinical Essentials
El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados. El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados.


  • Certain UK population subgroups are at a significantly increased risk for elevated depressive symptoms during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Why this matters

  • Identify at-risk patients who might benefit from targeted mental health support and services.
  • Consider evidence-based antidepressant strategies (e.g., behavioral interventions, drugs) to alleviate symptoms.

Key results

  • 51,417 participants; mean age, 48.8 years; 12.0% (6145) Black, Asian, minority/racial communities.
  • 33.3% comprised lowest socioeconomic stratum.
  • 38.2% had a preexisting physical condition, 19.9% ≥1 mental health condition, 30.5% moderate or severe depression symptoms, 11.3% experienced psychological/physical abuse. 
  • 3 distinct depressive symptom trajectories observed: 60.0% class 1 (low), 29.0% class 2 (moderate), 11.0% class 3 (severe).
  • Factors associated (ORs) with a higher likelihood for COVID-related:
    • Moderate depressive symptoms:
      • Prior abuse: 5.34 (P<.001>
      • Low social support: 4.71 (P<.001>
    • Severe vs moderate symptoms:
      • Prior abuse: 13.16 (P<.001>
      • Low social support: 12.72 (P<.001>
    • Essential workers less likely to experience severe depressive symptoms: 0.66 (P<.001>

Study design

  • Prospective cohort analysis of UK adults participating in an ongoing panel study to assess severity/levels of depressive symptoms among high-risk persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Funding: Nuffield Foundation; others.


  • Limited generalizability.
  • Self-report bias.
  • Missing confounders.