Vol 7-1 Review Article

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of the Western Populace: A Model for the Examination of the Virus’s Global Impacts on Mental Health

Watson Kemper1, Katie Ben-Judah2, Akamu J. Ewunkem3, Uchenna B. Iloghalu2*

1Department of Biology, North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA

2Department of Biology, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, USA

3Department of Biological Sciences, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

COVID-19 has had lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of the global community. These impacts are multifaceted and spring from a range of physiological, psychological, economic origins. This review sought to demonstrate evidence of the damaging consequences that COVID-19 and its related effects have had on mental health. The findings showed significant increases in numbers of individuals seeking mental health care, experiencing negative mental health symptoms, and opting for medication management of mental health symptoms. In this review, we explore logistical aspects of both present and prospective zoonotic disease spillover events, as this information is key to mitigating future pandemic events. Furthermore, we summarize current knowledge of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health of the populations of Western countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Moreover, we discuss the influence of racial disparities in delivery of healthcare in the United States and their effects on the quality of, access to, and awareness of mental health care. Our awareness of these issues has the potential to inform further research, aid, and funding to the populations where it is most needed. Finally, we make recommendations for the direction of further research based on the findings of this article.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1265 View / Download Pdf
Vol 7-1 Mini Review Article

Racial disparities in opioid use disorder and its treatment: A review and commentary on the literature

Sean Lynch1,2, Faris Katkhuda2,3, Lidia Klepacz2,4, Eldene Towey2,4, Stephen J. Ferrando2,4*

1Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, NY, USA

2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, New York Medical College, School of Medicine, NY, USA

3Department of Psychiatry, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts, USA

4Department of Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Behavioral Health Center, NY, USA

Despite public interventions, the rate of opioid use disorder (OUD) continues to rise. In this focused review of the existing literature, the authors describe how increases in OUD, as well as opioid-related deaths, have occurred disproportionately among people of color. Black patients in particular are dying of overdose at an increased rate, however are less likely to receive any treatment for OUD. Additionally, Black patients are less likely to receive buprenorphine than White patients, but more likely to receive methadone. Potential causes of these disparities are discussed, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the successes of several pilot programs.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1263 View / Download Pdf
Vol 7-1 Research Article

Longitudinal trajectories of region-level suicide mortality in Tokyo, Japan, 2011 to 2021

Asuka Suzuki1, Kazue Yamaoka1*, Mariko Inoue1, Toshiro Tango2,1

1Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health, Tokyo, Japan

2Center for Medical Statistics, Tokyo, Japan

Background: Suicide mortality in Japan has declined over a period of more than 10 years, however, differences in longitudinal trajectories at a regional level are not well characterized. Objective was to clarify the longitudinal suicide mortality trajectories at the regional level in Tokyo from 2011 to 2021 by considering spatial smoothing, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This longitudinal cross-sectional analysis used fifty-four regions in Tokyo, Japan. Suicide mortality trends used data from the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government from 2011 to 2021. Regional social and environmental characteristics were used as 10 covariates. Empirical Bayes estimates for the standardized mortality ratio were obtained. A conditional autoregressive (CAR) model was applied to capture the spatial correlation for a crude and adjusted with 10 covariates using OpenBUGS. Spatial clusters were also identified by FlexScan, SaTScan, and Tango’s test.

Results: Longitudinal trajectories for both males and females were similar to a decreasing trend in all Japan until 2019. In 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the age-specific suicide deaths were the highest among those in their 20s. However, those were the highest among males in their 50s in 2021. The results of the CAR models adjusted for 10 covariates detected several regions as having higher suicide rates, but those regions were somewhat varied.

Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, both sexes in their 20s and males in their 50s showed a tendency toward an increase in suicides. The detected regions by spatial epidemiology varied with sex.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/1.1262 View / Download Pdf
Vol 3-4 Original Research Article

Depression as A Mediator Between Social Anxiety and Social Networking Addiction

Catherine So-kum Tang1, 2*, Masao Yogo3

1Department of Psychology, National university of Singapore, Singapore

2Center for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore

3Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

According to the transactional model of stress and coping, socially anxious individuals may rely on online social networking sites (SNS) to avoid challenges and demands of “real life” social situation, leading to their addictive use of SNS. This study examined whether the association between social anxiety and SNS addiction would be mediated by depression symptoms. A total of 1015 university students in Japan completed self-administered questionnaires. Results of bivariate correlation analyses showed that social anxiety, depression, and SNS addiction were significantly related to each other. Relative to men, women reported higher levels of depression and addictive use of SNS. Results of a moderated mediation analysis showed that depression was a significant mediator between social anxiety and SNS addiction, and this mediation effect was moderated by gender. For women, social anxiety exerted an indirect effect on SNS addiction through depression. For men, social anxiety exerted both a direct effect as well as an indirect effect via depression on SNS addiction. Findings suggest that intervention programs that aim to reduce SNS addiction among young adults should include mood management as a core component, and this is particularly relevant for women. Prevention strategies for SNS addiction should also include early detection and identification of depression and social anxiety.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2019/4.1188 View / Download Pdf