Speciale COVID-19

Cosa sapere

Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on psychological health and nutritional habits in Italy: results from the #PRESTOinsieme study

ISS, april 6 2022 - 

The present work aims to present the results of the ‘PRESTOinsieme’ (which is ‘we will be together soon’ in English). The web-based survey (www.prestoinsieme.com) describes changes in lifestyle habits and symptoms of psychological discomfort in the Italian population during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Design Cross-sectional online survey disseminated by messaging apps (ie, WhatsApp and Telegram) and social networks (ie, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn).

Setting Italy.

Participants Italian population older than 16 years of age.

Exposure COVID-19 lockdown.

Main outcomes and measures Survey respondents filled out a set of validated questionnaires aimed at assessing lifestyle habits and psychological health, that is, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) to screen for psychological distress, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to screen for post-traumatic stress and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).

Results Survey respondents totalled 5008. Moderate or severe psychological distress was reported in 25.5% and 22% of survey respondents, respectively. Lower age, female gender, being unemployed (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.02) or being a student (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.31 to 2.28) were predictors of more severe depressive symptoms.

Conclusions The present study is one of the largest population-based surveys conducted in Italy during the first COVID-19 lockdown, providing valuable data about the Italian population’s psychological health. Further studies should be conducted to understand whether psychological distress persists after the end of the lockdown.

The study is published in Bmj Open


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