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Occupational balance and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic: A four-wave panel study on the role of daily activities in Austria

J Occup Environ Med. 2022 Jun 16. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002567. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between daily activities (paid work, childcare, caregiving, voluntary work, sports and social contact), occupational balance, and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: We analyzed data from the Austrian Corona Panel Project (four timepoints, 6-month period) using regression models with logarithmically transformed data and non-parametric repeated-measures tests (N = 871).

RESULTS: Results showed higher depressive symptoms among women. Family caregivers (either parents or those caring for other relatives) were at highest risk for occupational imbalance and depressive symptoms. Sports and social contact were initially associated with better outcomes, but the effects waned. There was a main effect for time point driven by the last wave (amidst the second lockdown) but no significant interaction effects between predictors and time point were found.

CONCLUSION: The results provide a nuanced depiction of the relationship between different daily activities and health-related outcomes during the pandemic, highlighting groups at risk.

PMID:35732038 | DOI:10.1097/JOM.0000000000002567

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