Event Title

COVID-19 Guideline Compliance and Mental Health in Texas

Presenter Information

Grant PaulFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mark Owens

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Date of Publication

April 2021

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most daunting public health challenges of the 21st century. It has presented unique difficulties to the American medical system due to the overwhelming burden on Americans' mental health stemming from two major factors: uncertainty relating to the virus itself, and a lack of clarity regarding conflicting public health guidelines. Due to a lack of experiences comparable to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little existing research on whether or not there is any association between self-reported mental health and compliance with official pandemic guidelines. According to the Texas Mental Health Survey conducted by the University of Texas at Tyler, a higher incidence of adverse mental health effects (anxiety, depression, and loneliness) is generally associated with lower incidence of social distancing and mask usage. Working overtime, working fewer hours, and lower income have all produced worse mental health outcomes and lower compliance with pandemic guidelines. Given this data, public health providers in Texas and elsewhere can better target their outreach efforts to the most vulnerable populations.

Keywords

COVID-19, mental health, public health

Persistent Identifier

http://hdl.handle.net/10950/3122

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Apr 16th, 12:00 PM Apr 16th, 1:00 PM

COVID-19 Guideline Compliance and Mental Health in Texas

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most daunting public health challenges of the 21st century. It has presented unique difficulties to the American medical system due to the overwhelming burden on Americans' mental health stemming from two major factors: uncertainty relating to the virus itself, and a lack of clarity regarding conflicting public health guidelines. Due to a lack of experiences comparable to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little existing research on whether or not there is any association between self-reported mental health and compliance with official pandemic guidelines. According to the Texas Mental Health Survey conducted by the University of Texas at Tyler, a higher incidence of adverse mental health effects (anxiety, depression, and loneliness) is generally associated with lower incidence of social distancing and mask usage. Working overtime, working fewer hours, and lower income have all produced worse mental health outcomes and lower compliance with pandemic guidelines. Given this data, public health providers in Texas and elsewhere can better target their outreach efforts to the most vulnerable populations.