Nevin Manimala Statistics

Psychological and financial impacts of COVID-19-related travel measures: An international cross-sectional study

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 5;17(8):e0271894. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271894. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 international travel restrictions has to date, not been fully explored, and with the ongoing threat that new variants could potentially restrict movement further, it is important to consider the impacts that travel restrictions have on community members. This study aimed to evaluate the psychological and financial impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on those separated from their partners or immediate families, as well as temporary visa holders who were unable to migrate.

METHODS: Between 4 November 2021 to 1 December 2021, we executed a cross-sectional online survey targeting three specific groups; (1) those stranded from their partners; (2) those stranded from immediate families; and (3) temporary visa holders unable to migrate or cross international borders. We collected data on respondents’ demographic profile; the nature of COVID-19-related travel impacts; depression, anxiety, and stress levels (using the validated DASS-21); and finally, data on respondents financial, employment and accommodation situation.

RESULTS: 1363 respondents located globally completed the survey. 71.2% reported financial stress, 76.8% ([Formula: see text], SD = 5.94) reported moderate-to-extremely severe depression, 51.6% ([Formula: see text], SD = 5.49) moderate-to-extremely severe anxiety, and 62.6% ([Formula: see text], SD = 5.55) moderate-to-extremely severe stress levels. Statistically significant factors associated with moderate-to-extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress included being female, chronic illness, and experiencing financial stress. Employment during COVID-19 -specifically essential services workers or unemployed-was associated with higher levels of anxiety and stress, with only essential workers being a predictor of higher stress severity. Factors that provided psychological protection included being older and having children.

CONCLUSION: This study is one of the first to explore the impact COVID-19-related international travel restrictions have had on the financial status and psychological health of affected individuals. It highlights the significant human cost associated with the restrictions and identifies psychologically vulnerable populations. These results will help the design of targeted health and social policy responses.

PMID:35930529 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0271894

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala