18 June 2021 - Deborah Wilkes
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of Europeans, according to the Stada Health Report 2021, which found that almost one in three people, 29%, had suffered from increased levels of anxiety.
Increased levels of anxiety were particularly apparent in Ukraine and Poland, where 45% and 42% of people respectively said they felt more anxious than prior to the pandemic.
The Stada Health Report 2021 – which surveyed more than 30,000 people in 15 countries during March and April 2021 – also found that 25% of Europeans had been troubled by stress and inner restlessness since the COVID-19 pandemic and 15% had trouble sleeping.
Young people tended to be more frequently affected by these symptoms than Europeans above 35 years of age.
According to the Stada Health Report 2021, around two-thirds of Europeans, 68%, felt the pandemic had influenced their mental wellbeing. The proportion was highest in Poland, 78%, and lowest in the Netherlands, 56%.
Around a third of Europeans felt the pandemic had not had any impact on their mental wellbeing.
Missing family and friends
The report also questioned Europeans about their concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and found they were less bothered by the possibility of contracting the virus than by missing family and friends.
Around 52% of Europeans said they missed meeting family and friends while only 42% were worried about contracting the virus. Almost a third said they were worried about financial and work-related repercussions of the pandemic.
Fear of contracting the virus was particularly high in countries with high mortality rates, noted the report, with 54% of Spaniards and 53% of Italians expressing concern.
Increased hygiene and social distancing
Increased hygiene and social distancing have played a key role in combatting the spread of the virus and the Stada Health Report 2021 found that many Europeans were not keen to abandon such measures.
Around 45% intend to carry on washing their hands more regularly, one in three want to stick to the recommended minimum distance from other people, and 22% plan to keep wearing a face mask in public.
The Stada Health Report 2021 was conducted for Stada by Kantar using online interviews during March and April 2021. The survey involved 30,013 respondents in 15 European countries – Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK.
The theme of the 2021 report is “How has the pandemic changed Europeans’ views on health?”.
The Stada Health Report dates back to 2014 when the company carried out a study in its home market of Germany. This is the third year in a row that Stada has produced an international version.