Perceived discrimination based on the symptoms of covid-19, mental health, and emotional responses–the international online COVISTRESS survey

Michaël Dambrun*, Eric Bonetto, Ladislav Motak, Julien S. Baker, Reza Bagheri, Foued Saadaoui, Hana Rabbouch, Marek Zak, Hijrah Nasir, Martial Mermillod, Yang Gao, Samuel Antunes, Ukadike Chris Ugbolue, Bruno Pereira, Jean-Baptiste Bouillon-Minois, Armelle Nugier, Maëlys Clinchamps, Frédéric Dutheil, The COVISTRESS Network

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Despite the potential detrimental consequences for individuals’ health and discrimination from covid-19 symptoms, the outcomes have received little attention. This study examines the relationships between having personally experienced discrimination based on the symptoms of covid-19 (during the first wave of the pandemic), mental health, and emotional responses (anger and sadness). It was predicted that covid-19 discrimination would be positively related to poor mental health and that this relationship would be mediated by the emotions of anger and sadness. Methods The study was conducted using an online questionnaire from January to June 2020 (the Covistress network; including 44 countries). Participants were extracted from the COVISTRESS database (Ntotal = 280) with about a half declaring having been discriminated due to covid-19 symptoms (N = 135). Discriminated participants were compared to non-discriminated participants using ANOVA. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine the indirect effect of emotional responses and the relationships between perceived discrimination and self-reported mental health.

Results
The results indicated that individuals who experienced discrimination based on the symptoms of covid-19 had poorer mental health and experienced more anger and sadness. The relationship between covid-19 personal discrimination and mental health disappeared when the emotions of anger and sadness were statistically controlled for. The indirect effects for both anger and sadness were statistically significant. 

Discussion
This study suggests that the covid-19 pandemic may have generated discriminatory behaviors toward those suspected of having symptoms and that this is related to poorer mental health via anger and sadness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0279180
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived discrimination based on the symptoms of covid-19, mental health, and emotional responses–the international online COVISTRESS survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this