A randomized trial of online single-session interventions for adolescent depression during COVID-19.
Nature human behaviour. 2022;(2):258-268
The COVID-19 pandemic has potentially increased the risk for adolescent depression. Even pre-pandemic, <50% of youth with depression accessed care, highlighting needs for accessible interventions. Accordingly, this randomized controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04634903 ) tested online single-session interventions (SSIs) during COVID-19 in adolescents with elevated depression symptoms (N = 2,452, ages 13-16). Adolescents from all 50 US states, recruited via social media, were randomized to one of three SSIs: a behavioural activation SSI, an SSI teaching that traits are malleable and a supportive control. We tested each SSI's effects on post-intervention outcomes (hopelessness and agency) and three-month outcomes (depression, hopelessness, agency, generalized anxiety, COVID-19-related trauma and restrictive eating). Compared with the control, both active SSIs reduced three-month depressive symptoms (Cohen's d = 0.18), decreased post-intervention and three-month hopelessness (d = 0.16-0.28), increased post-intervention agency (d = 0.15-0.31) and reduced three-month restrictive eating (d = 0.12-17). Several differences between active SSIs emerged. These results confirm the utility of free-of-charge, online SSIs for high-symptom adolescents, even in the high-stress COVID-19 context.
Changes in physical activity levels, eating habits and psychological well-being during the Italian COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: Impact of socio-demographic factors on the Florentine academic population.
PloS one. 2021;(5):e0252395
The confinement and lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have produced restrictions in the lifestyle of Italian citizens with variations in their psychological well-being. The aim of the study was to identify changes and relationship with socio-demographic parameters. An online survey was administered to 1383 subjects (1007 females and 307 males) working in the University of Florence, Italy. Three validated questionnaires were used for the survey: the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Med Diet Score and the Psychological General Well-Being Index-A. All the subjects were asked to complete the questionnaires twice, in order to attain a picture of the habits before and a later time point during confinement. Our results show that work-related physical activity was decreased, along with an increase in sedentary behaviour (from 07:22±03:20 to 08:49±03:41 h:min; p<0.001, ES = 0.38), whereas recreational physical activity was increased (vigorous exercise varied from 568.5 ± 838.6 to 833.7 ± 1263.0 METs; p<0.002, ES = 0.25). Eating habits changed according to the place where meals were eaten, with an increased habit for breakfast and snacks and a slight increase in alcohol consumption. Psychological well-being decreased (Index from 21.4±3.9 to 18.0±5.3; p<0.001, ES = 0.723), especially in terms of vitality and positive thinking. The socio-demographic variables affecting these variations were mostly represented by age, gender and working conditions: young age and self-employment conditions can be considered factors for the changes in daily habits induced by confinement that may affect psychological well-being.
Eating behaviour and symptom trajectories in patients with a history of binge eating disorder during COVID-19 pandemic.
European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association. 2021;(4):657-662
OBJECTIVE A history of an eating disorder (ED) might constitute a risk for symptom deterioration and relapse during COVID-19 pandemic. This longitudinal study investigates ED symptom trajectories until the first COVID-19 lockdown in Spring 2020 in patients with a history of binge eating disorder (BED). METHOD Participants of the randomised-controlled BED treatment trial IMPULS participated in a re-assessment directly after the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. We used expert-rated clinical interviews and self-report to investigate binge eating (BE) frequency, ED and general psychopathology, distress, emotion regulation and sense of coherence. Symptom trajectories were analysed for baseline when entering the trial, end of trial participation and the time point directly after lockdown. BE frequency was assessed on a recall basis for 4 weeks directly before lockdown and 4 weeks during lockdown. RESULTS BE frequency, general ED pathology and depressive symptoms markedly increased after as compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals scoring high on reappraisal as emotion regulation strategy and sense of coherence scored lower on general ED pathology. CONCLUSION Individuals with a history of an ED are at risk for symptom deterioration and relapse during the pandemic. Intervention and service dissemination strategies are needed to support vulnerable groups throughout the pandemic.
Nutritional recommendations for CoVID-19 quarantine.
European journal of clinical nutrition. 2020;(6):850-851
#StayHomeStayFit: UNIMI's approach to online healthy lifestyle promotion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis. 2020;(3):e2020037
The COVID-19 lockdown imposed radical changes in the lifestyles of the population through isolation measures, with considerable health, social, psychological and economic consequences. Lockdown measures may have exacerbated negative population behaviors regarding exercise and nutrition, with risk of weight gain and obesity, collectively predisposing to increased cardiometabolic risk and mortality. At particular risk of deleterious consequences were patients such as those affected by chronic non communicable diseases (CNCD). The benefits of regular exercise are evident at several levels of CNCD prevention, however, from a public health standpoint, it is important to consider they are also related to improved stress management, work/academic performance, and reduced illegal behavior, isolation and depression. Therefore, during enforced isolation, a primary goal for all individuals is to maintain energy balance. During lockdown, several lifestyle interventions were posted online, with the internet playing a major role in exercise and fitness promotion. Among these one must recognize the ambitious "#StayHomeStayFit" project by the University of Milan, providing useful general information and trustworthy advice regarding nutrition, physical activity, and psychological support, for the general population in a time of need. Data showed a total of 21224 views on various social media and webpages during the reference period, with a mean time of 4' 17'' spent per page/video. Given the health risks associated with population physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle, policymakers should evaluate the benefits of projects such as #StayHomeStayFit and consider how to maximize population perception and reach. After all, additional COVID-19 lockdowns might be implemented in the future.