Non-binary gender, vulnerable populations and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: Data from the COVID-19 MEntal health inTernational for the general population (COMET-G) study

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Jelena Vrublevska, Seri Abraham, Kristina Adorjan, Helal Uddin Ahmed, Renato D. Alarcón, Kiyomi Arai, Sani Salihu Auwal, Michael Berk, Sarah Bjedov, Julio Bobes, Teresa Bobes-Bascaran, Julie Bourgin-Duchesnay, Cristina Ana Bredicean, Laurynas Bukelskis, Akaki Burkadze, Indira Indiana Cabrera Abud, Ruby Castilla-Puentes, Marcelo Cetkovich, Hector Colon-RiveraRicardo Corral, Carla Cortez-Vergara, Piirika Crepin, Domenico De Berardis, Sergio Zamora Delgado, David De Lucena, Avinash De Sousa, Ramona Di Stefano, Seetal Dodd, Livia Priyanka Elek, Anna Elissa, Berta Erdelyi-Hamza, Gamze Erzin, Martin J. Etchevers, Peter Falkai, Adriana Farcas, Ilya Fedotov, Viktoriia Filatova, Nikolaos K. Fountoulakis, Iryna Frankova, Francesco Franza, Pedro Frias, Tatiana Galako, Cristian J. Garay, Leticia Garcia-Álvarez, Maria Paz García-Portilla, Xenia Gonda, Tomasz M. Gondek, Daniela Morera González, Hilary Gould, Paolo Grandinetti, Arturo Grau, Violeta Groudeva, Michal Hagin, Takayuki Harada, Tasdik M. Hasan, Nurul Azreen Hashim, Jan Hilbig, Sahadat Hossain, Rossitza Iakimova, Mona Ibrahim, Felicia Iftene, Yulia Ignatenko, Matias Irarrazaval, Zaliha Ismail, Jamila Ismayilova, Asaf Jacobs, Miro Jakovljević, Nenad Jakšić, Afzal Javed, Helin Yilmaz Kafali, Sagar Karia, Olga Kazakova, Doaa Khalifa, Olena Khaustova, Steve Koh, Korneliia Kosenko, Sotirios A. Koupidis, Alisha Lalljee, Justine Liewig, Abdul Majid, Evgeniia Malashonkova, Khamelia Malik, Najma Iqbal Malik, Gulay Mammadzada, Bilvesh Mandalia, Donatella Marazziti, Darko Marčinko, Stephanie Martinez, Eimantas Matiekus, Gabriela Mejia, Roha Saeed Memon, Xarah Elenne Meza Martínez, Dalia Mickevičiūtė, Roumen Milev, Muftau Mohammed, Alejandro Molina-López, Petr Morozov, Nuru Suleiman Muhammad, Filip Mustač, Mika S. Naor, Amira Nassieb, Alvydas Navickas, Tarek Okasha, Milena Pandova, Anca Livia Panfil, Liliya Panteleeva, Ion Papava, Mikaella E. Patsali, Alexey Pavlichenko, Bojana Pejuskovic, Mariana Pinto Da Costa, Mikhail Popkov, Dina Popovic, Nor Jannah Nasution Raduan, Francisca Vargas Ramírez, Elmars Rancans, Salmi Razali, Federico Rebok, Anna Rewekant, Elena Ninoska Reyes Flores, María Teresa Rivera-Encinas, Pilar Saiz, Manuel Sánchez de Carmona, David Saucedo Martínez, Jo Anne Saw, Görkem Saygili, Patricia Schneidereit, Bhumika Shah, Tomohiro Shirasaka, Ketevan Silagadze, Satti Sitanggang, Oleg Skugarevsky, Anna Spikina, Sridevi Sira Mahalingappa, Maria Stoyanova, Anna Szczegielniak, Simona Claudia Tamasan, Giuseppe Tavormina, Maurilio Giuseppe Maria Tavormina, Pavlos N. Theodorakis, Mauricio Tohen, Eva Maria Tsapakis, Dina Tukhvatullina, Irfan Ullah, Ratnaraj Vaidya, Johann M. Vega-Dienstmaier, Olivera Vukovic, Olga Vysotska, Natalia Widiasih, Anna Yashikhina, Daria Smirnova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant mental health challenges, particularly for vulnerable populations, including non-binary gender individuals. The COMET international study aimed to investigate specific risk factors for clinical depression or distress during the pandemic, also in these special populations. Methods: Chi-square tests were used for initial screening to select only those variables which would show an initial significance. Risk Ratios (RR) were calculated, and a Multiple Backward Stepwise Linear Regression Analysis (MBSLRA) was followed with those variables given significant results at screening and with the presence of distress or depression or the lack of both of them. Results: The most important risk factors for depression were female (RR = 1.59–5.49) and non-binary gender (RR = 1.56–7.41), unemployment (RR = 1.41–6.57), not working during lockdowns (RR = 1.43–5.79), bad general health (RR = 2.74–9.98), chronic somatic disorder (RR = 1.22–5.57), history of mental disorders (depression RR = 2.31–9.47; suicide attempt RR = 2.33–9.75; psychosis RR = 2.14–10.08; Bipolar disorder RR = 2.75–12.86), smoking status (RR = 1.15–5.31) and substance use (RR = 1.77–8.01). The risk factors for distress or depression that survived MBSLRA were younger age, being widowed, living alone, bad general health, being a carer, chronic somatic disorder, not working during lockdowns, being single, self-reported history of depression, bipolar disorder, self-harm, suicide attempts and of other mental disorders, smoking, alcohol, and substance use. Conclusions: Targeted preventive interventions are crucial to safeguard the mental health of vulnerable groups, emphasizing the importance of diverse samples in future research. Limitations: Online data collection may have resulted in the underrepresentation of certain population groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-551
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume352
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Mental health history
  • Non-binary gender
  • Risk factors

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