Transcript: We knew that there was going to be an increase in the prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic based on what we've seen in past population shocks. But the major question we had was: By how much has that actually increased? And how do we go about quantifying this increase?
What we did first was a systematic review. We tried to find studies that reported the prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder over the course of the pandemic, aligned with equivalent pre-pandemic baseline estimates so that we could quantify the actual change or increase in prevalence of these disorders.
Then we developed a model that estimated or predicted the change of that prevalence based on the indicators of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. What we found was that this increase was associated with two primary indicators. First was human mobility – how people's movements are in the population. And the daily COVID-19 infection rate in the population. Both of these were associated with the increase in prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders.
With this model, we were able to extrapolate the estimated prevalence chance around the world by age and by sex. We estimated a greater increase among females, and a greater increase among youth in the population.
Overall, this led to an estimated increase globally of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders of close to 30%.