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BMC Public Health . Social isolation consequences: lessons from COVID-19 pandemic in a context of dynamic lock-down in Chile

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  • BMC Public Health . Social isolation consequences: lessons from COVID-19 pandemic in a context of dynamic lock-down in Chile

    BMC Public Health


    . 2024 Feb 24;24(1):599.
    doi: 10.1186/s12889-024-18064-1. Social isolation consequences: lessons from COVID-19 pandemic in a context of dynamic lock-down in Chile

    Alessandra Patrono 1 , Stefano Renzetti 2 , Cristian Guerini 2 , Mark Macgowan 3 , Stefanny M Moncada 4 , Donatella Placidi 2 , Maurizio Memo 5 , Roberto G Lucchini 2 6



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Background: Chile did not adopt general and unified lockdowns for the whole nation but organized itself with dynamic and sometimes irregular lockdowns. These dynamics and consequences of social isolation could be generalized to other contexts of isolation such as those affecting minorities such as immigrants, prisoners, refugees.
    Methods: In this study, we investigated the physical and mental health symptoms associated with lifestyle changes due to lockdown among university students in Chile. We examined psychopathological variations in relation to mental health problems in a healthy young population. Our goal was to develop interventions to address these new psychosocial problems in potentially comparable post-pandemic contexts. From May 10th 2021 to June 2th 2021, 420 University students took part in an anonymous survey asking for information on habits and symptoms that emerged during the lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three health outcomes were assessed: digestive disorders; headache; fear of COVID-19. Covariates including conditions and lifestyle during the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 infections in the family, financial situation and productivity were considered in the analysis.
    Results: Participants experienced headache and fear of COVID-19 quite frequently during the lockdown period. More than half of the sample also experienced social isolation. Female gender, sleep quality, memory difficulties, and a change in eating habits resulted associated with an increased risk of health outcomes such as headaches and digestive disorders.
    Conclusions: The results of this study fit within an original pandemic context: The results of this study can help identify needs and promote solutions applicable to different contexts. Future interventions should focus on the promotion and implementation of healthy habits focused on sleep hygiene, psychoeducation on the use of mobile devices and gender medicine with the support of healthcare organizations and University.

    Keywords: COVID-19; Mental health; Psychosomatic; Young adults.

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