Mental health indicators in Sweden over a 12-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic - Baseline data of the Omtanke2020 Study

J Affect Disord. 2023 Feb 1:322:108-117. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.11.004. Epub 2022 Nov 12.


Background: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the lives of people globally and is expected to have profound effects on mental health. Here we aim to describe the mental health burden experienced in Sweden using baseline data of the Omtanke2020 Study.

Method: We analysed self-reported, cross-sectional baseline data collected over a 12-month period (June 9, 2020-June 8, 2021) from the Omtanke2020 Study including 27,950 adults in Sweden. Participants were volunteers or actively recruited through existing cohorts and, after providing informed consent, responded to online questionnaires on socio-demographics, mental and physical health, as well as COVID-19 infection and impact. Poisson regression was fitted to assess the relative risk of demonstrating high level symptoms of depression, anxiety, and COVID-19 related distress.

Result: The proportion of persons with high level of symptoms was 15.6 %, 9.5 % and 24.5 % for depression, anxiety, and COVID-19 specific post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), respectively. Overall, 43.4 % of the participants had significant, clinically relevant symptoms for at least one of the three mental health outcomes and 7.3 % had significant symptoms for all three outcomes. We also observed differences in the prevalence of these outcomes across strata of sex, age, recruitment type, COVID-19 status, region, and seasonality.

Conclusion: While the proportion of persons with high mental health burden remains higher than the ones reported in pre-pandemic publications, our estimates are lower than previously reported levels of depression, anxiety, and PTSD during the pandemic in Sweden and elsewhere.

Keywords: Anxiety symptoms; COVID-19; Depressive symptoms; General population; Mental health; Omtanke2020 Study; Stress; Sweden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology