Psychosocial Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Adult Population of Buenos Aires

Juan José Herrera Paz, Pamela Bobadilla-Jacob, Dario Ben Igolnikof, Sebastián García Zamora, Carla Sandoval, Marcelo Cancer, Emanuel González Dávila, Sebastián Wolff, David Wolff, José Miguel Picco

Abstract


Background: In March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus a pandemic, andsince then a remarkably large psychological experiment has been carried out in the world: social isolation.Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of social isolation on healthy habits and psychosocial and behavioralaspects during the confinement and restrictions imposed by the pandemic in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires (AMBA).Methods: An anonymous survey, excluding medical personnel, was carried out through social networks (WhatsApp, Instagram,Facebook and e-mail).Results: Within 7 days of sending the link 2,912 people answered the survey. Age was between 40 and 60 years in 48.2% ofparticipants, with a predominance of women. In 43.53% of cases, respondents perceived changes in their lifestyle, such as atwofold increase of hours in front of electronic devices during quarantine. This was accompanied by a more sedentary lifestyle,since 83.5% exercised before the pandemic but only 6.4% maintained the prior hours of weekly physical activity. Altered eatinghabits was reported by 43.52% of participants and 41% referred symptoms compatible with depression, anxiety, sadness,unwillingness or hopelessness.Conclusions: Our study suggests that psychological wellbeing and healthy habits are threatened by confinement in the face ofthe COVID-19 pandemic, so it is necessary to implement measures to prevent consequences in our population.

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