The Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health: A Scoping Review



COVID-19, impacts, Lockdown, lockdown, pandemic


Background: This scoping review assessed the COVID-19 impacts on mental health and associated risk factors.

Methods: A literature search for relevant articles published between March 2020 and July 2022, was conducted in the APA PsychInfo, JBI Evidence Synthesis, Epistemonikos, PubMed, and Cochrane databases.

Results: The article inclusion criteria were met by 72 studies. The commonly used mental health assessment tools were the Patient Health Questionnaire (41.7%), Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (36%), 21-item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (13.9%), Impact of Event Scale (12.5%), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (9.7%), Symptom Checklist and the General Health Questionnaire (6.9% each). The prevalence rate of depression ranged from 5-76.5%, 5.6-80.5% for anxiety, 9.1-65% for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 8.3-61.7% for sleep disorders, 4.9-70.1% for stress, 7-71.5% for psychological distress, and 21.4-69.3% for general mental health conditions. The risks included female gender, healthcare-related/frontline jobs, isolation/quarantine, poverty, lower education, COVID-19 risk, age, commodities, mental illness history, negative psychology, and higher social media exposure. The incidence of mental disorders increased along with the increasing cases of COVID-19 and the corresponding government restrictions.

Conclusion: Standard mental health assessment tools were used in these studies conducted during COVID-19. Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and stress increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Various factors impacted the prevalence of mental health disorders. Policymakers need to provide social protective measures to improve coping in critical health events. Further studies should investigate the effectiveness of interventions for reducing the prevalence and risk factors for mental health conditions during a public health emergency.


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How to Cite

Josiah, B. O., & Ncube, F. (2023). The Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health: A Scoping Review. The Nigerian Health Journal, 23(1), 524–559. Retrieved from



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