Close contacts of those with COVID-19 (CC) may experience distress and long-lasting mental health effects. However, the mental health status and quality of life (QOL) in CC have not been adequately examined. This study examined the mental health status and QOL in CC during the post-COVID-19 period. This cross-sectional study comprised 1169 CC and 1290 who were non-close contacts (non-CC). Demographic data were collected; depression, fatigue, post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and QOL were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 items (PHQ-9), fatigue numeric rating scale, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist - 17 items (PCL-17), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire - brief version (WHOQOL-BREF), respectively. Analysis of covariance was used to compare depressive symptoms, QOL, fatigue, and PTSS between the CC and non-CC groups. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the independent correlates for depression, fatigue, PTSS, and QOL in the CC group. Compared to the non-CC group, the CC group reported significantly more severe depression (F(1, 2458) = 5.58, p = 0.018) and fatigue (F(1, 2458) = 9.22, p = 0.002) in the post-COVID-19 period. No significant differences in PTSS and QOL between the CC and non-CC groups were found (F(1, 2458) = 2.93, p = 0.087 for PTSS; F(1, 2458) = 3.45, p = 0.064 for QOL). In the CC group, younger age, financial loss due to COVID-19, and perception of poor or fair health status were significantly associated with depression and fatigue, while frequent use of mass media was significantly associated with fatigue. In conclusion, close contacts of COVID-19 patients experienced high levels of depression and fatigue in the post-COVID-19 period. Due to the negative effects of depression and fatigue on daily functioning, early detection and timely interventions should be provided to this neglected population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Biological Psychiatry