Studies have shown that COVID-19 has had a worldwide psychological impact. Confinement due to COVID-19 has had important repercussions on the mental health of the general population, with high levels of stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder, and so forth. Similarly, important labor, economic and social changes taking place are affecting people's well-being. The objective of this study was to analyze the repercussions of perceived threat from COVID-19 on the mental health of the population, and to evaluate the mediating role of perceived economic impact. The participants were 1160 adult residents of Spain aged 18 to 82, 69.9% of whom were women. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the Questionnaire on Perception of Threat from COVID-19 and the General Health Questionnaire were administered. Perceived threat had a positive direct effect on all four health dimensions analyzed. Among the indirect effects, the perceived economic impact of COVID-19 mediated in the relationship between perceived threat and each of the health dimensions. The results of this study have demonstrated the need to promote joint action promoting public mental health to minimize the psychological repercussions of new outbreaks.
Keywords: COVID-19; general population; mental health; perceived threat.