Psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study of online help-seeking Canadian men
Ogrodniczuk, J.S., Rice, S.M., Kealy, D., Seidler, Z.E., Delara, M., & Oliffe, J.L.
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives of men. The present study investigated psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on a help-seeking sample of Canadian men, focusing on diverse aspects of their psychosocial well-being.
Methods: A cross-sectional, open survey study design was used. Canadian adult men who were visiting an eHealth depression resource (HeadsUpGuys.org) were recruited to complete an online survey. Descriptive statistics, including means and standard deviations for continuous variables and frequency and percentages for categorical variables, were used to summarize survey responses. Regression analysis was utilized to identify factors associated with various mental health indicators (anxiety, depression, fear of COVID-19, suicidality). The Patient Health Questionnaire-4, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, and item 9 (suicidality item) from the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 were used to assess the mental health indicators.
Results: A total of 434 men completed the study. Most respondents (79.3%; N = 344) indicated that their mental health was negatively affected by COVID-19, and two-thirds (65.5%; N = 284) conveyed that government-imposed physical distancing measures had negatively affected their mental health. Half the sample (51.2%; N = 222) reported at least moderate financial stress due to COVID-19. Nearly a third of respondents (31.1%; N = 135) reported that their current living situation has had a considerable or severe negative impact on their mental health since COVID-19. About two-fifths (37.7%; N = 94) of men felt that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their relationship with their intimate partner. Nearly a third of respondents who were in a relationship (30.9%; N = 77) reported that they engaged in some type of abuse (primarily verbal abuse, 22.9%; N = 57) toward their intimate partner during COVID-19, and more than a quarter (27.3%; N = 68) reported being abused by their intimate partner (also primarily verbal abuse, 22.5%; N = 56). Just under half (42.2%; N = 183) of the respondents indicated experiencing suicidal ideation.
Conclusion: These findings can help inform providers of health services to Canadian men, as well as policies that will be implemented during subsequent waves of COVID-19 or during future infectious outbreaks.