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  • Aguilar-Latorre et al Covid and Depression in Zaragoza

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The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on depression sufferers: a qualitative study from the province of Zaragoza, Spain

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  • Bárbara Oliván-Blázquez
  • Alejandra Aguilar-Latorre
  • Ana Porroche-Escudero
  • Méndez-López Fátima
  • Valentin García-Gallego
  • Belén Benedé-Azagra
  • Rosa Magallón-Botaya
Article number780
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/04/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Public Health
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background and purpose
The impact of COVID-19 and its control measures have exacerbated existing mental health conditions. Although the deleterious effects of mental health problems are well known, fewer studies have examined the links between the Social Determinants of Health (SDHs) and depression. This study provides insights into the relationship between SDHs and depression during the first strict lockdown in Spain, which lasted for a period of 7 weeks.

Fifty-two structured interviews were conducted with people diagnosed with depression during June 2020 in the province of Zaragoza (Spain). Interviews were conducted by telephone due to lockdown constraints. Inductive thematic content analysis was used to explore, develop, and define emergent categories of analysis, which were mapped against the SDH framework.

Listening to people’s experiences of living with depression during lockdown provided insights into their concerns and coping strategies, which are greatly influenced by the conditions in which they live, their job and their age. Examples of these factors include access to and quality of physical spaces, including housing conditions and public spaces for socialising, social support, adverse working conditions which include caring responsibilities, and access to digital technologies and healthcare services.

SDHs have played a fundamental role in shaping people’s health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this study has shown that they have a considerable effect on depression outcomes. Governments should consider implementing social welfare programs to tackle both psychosocial problems and material need during crisis situations.