Scientists collect data derived from four anonymous questionnaires on the mental and physical health of adults and adolescents to determine the status quo. The findings are intended to highlight the need for improvement in existing healthcare systems as well as illustrate individual coping skills. In addition, participants will receive tips and updates on coping with the pandemic.
Since almost a year, the world is in the grip of the Corona pandemic and the end is not yet foreseeable. Danube University Krems has already conducted various studies showing the negative psychological effects of the pandemic on the population. Currently, many people suffer from stress and loneliness with around one-fifth of those surveyed displaying depressive symptoms. In order to be able to record more precisely the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, university partners, the Robert Koch Institute and software companies have developed the free "Corona Health App" as part of a scientific cooperation.
"We want to trace out the long-term effects of the virus, contact restrictions, and other COVID-19 measures on stress experience and health. We can then use these data to identify coping strategies. The goal is to make recommendations on how to reduce negative effects," explains Prof Thomas Probst, from the Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health, who is a participating scientist.
Four different surveys
The app offers four different surveys in which participants can take part. These topics are dealt with in the surveys: "Mental Health Adults", "Physical Health Adults", "Mental Health for Adolescents", and "Recognizing Stress for Adults". Thomas Probst was involved in designing the "Recognizing Stress" survey and will be involved in analyzing the collected data.
Following participation in the survey, individuals receive feedback on their current situation, helpful tips and advice. Additionally, the app gives information on relevant news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the study, Thomas Probst was already dealing with the experience of stress. The smartphone application "TrackYourStress", was used as part of an earlier study and has already been published, served as the basis for the stress study in the "Corona Health App" to make it easier to record fluctuations in stress as they occur in everyday life.