Aufblühen trotz Corona? Intimitätsgewinne und andere positive, unintendierte Nebeneffekte pandemiebedingter Gesellschaftsveränderungen

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Bislang ist wenig über positive unintendierte Nebeneffekte der Distanzierungsmaßnahmen in der Covid-19-Pandemie bekannt. Der Beitrag präsentiert Ergebnisse zweier quantitativer Erhebungen zu den Veränderungen sozialer Beziehungen während der Lockdowns in Österreich und Deutschland. Neben statistischen Auswertungen der am häufigsten wahrgenommenen, positiven Nebeneffekte werden offene Antworten aus der zweiten Erhebung im November/Dezember 2020 analysiert, in denen 1.378 Befragte ausführten, welche »neuen schönen Dinge« sie in der Pandemie gefunden haben, die ihnen gut tun. Die Daten liefern Hinweise auf zumindest fünf unterschiedliche, als positiv erlebte Nebeneffekte der Pandemiemaßnahmen: 1) Vertiefung intimer Beziehungen, 2) Genuss zeitlicher Spielräume, 3) Selbstsorgepraktiken, 4) lustvolle neue Aktivitäten und 5) Werteverschiebungen. Der Beitrag kontextualisiert die Voraussetzungen eines »Aufblühens« unter Pandemiebedingungen soziologisch und bietet ein Korrektiv zur nostalgischen Verklärung der Zeit vor der Pandemie.

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How distancing requirements in the COVID-19 pandemic transformed intimate relationships is under-researched. Against the backdrop of research on the HIV pandemic, the paper departs from the assumption that decreased legitimacy of intimate arrangements and subjective worry about the likeliness of infection may reduce the frequency of multiple sexual contact and intimate well-being during the pandemic. Based on findings from a quantitative study which included measures of risk perception, frequency of contact with sexual partners and communities, concealment, as well as relationship quality in Austria and Germany, this paper examines sexual behaviour in association with relationship status and sexual identity. Analysing data from a convenience sample of 4,709 respondents, of whom 24 per cent identified as LGBQA+, 2 per cent as non-binary, and 6 per cent as consensually non-monogamous, bivariate analysis found significant differences in social distancing, frequency of contact with sexual communities and satisfaction with current sex life. Text analysis of the survey’s open-ended responses indicates monogamisation due to declined legitimacy of less conventional intimate arrangements during the pandemic. Findings point to the importance of the sexual morality that defined pandemic experiences in times of HIV for understanding normative pressure on intimate life during COVID-19.
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This cross-sectional study assesses multiple aspects of mental health among high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria.
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Background COVID-19 has led to the adoption of unprecedented mitigation measures which could trigger many unintended consequences. These unintended consequences can be far-reaching and just as important as the intended ones. The World Health Organization identified the assessment of unintended consequences of COVID-19 mitigation measures as a top priority. Thus far, however, their systematic assessment has been neglected due to the inattention of researchers as well as the lack of training and practical tools. Main text Over six years our team has gained extensive experience conducting research on the unintended consequences of complex health interventions. Through a reflexive process, we developed insights that can be useful for researchers in this area. Our analysis is based on key literature and lessons learned reflexively in conducting multi-site and multi-method studies on unintended consequences. Here we present practical guidance for researchers wishing to assess the unintended consequences of COVID-19 mitigation measures. To ensure resource allocation, protocols should include research questions regarding unintended consequences at the outset. Social science theories and frameworks are available to help assess unintended consequences. To determine which changes are unintended, researchers must first understand the intervention theory. To facilitate data collection, researchers can begin by forecasting potential unintended consequences through literature reviews and discussions with stakeholders. Including desirable and neutral unintended consequences in the scope of study can help minimize the negative bias reported in the literature. Exploratory methods can be powerful tools to capture data on the unintended consequences that were unforeseen by researchers. We recommend researchers cast a wide net by inquiring about different aspects of the mitigation measures. Some unintended consequences may only be observable in subsequent years, so longitudinal approaches may be useful. An equity lens is necessary to assess how mitigation measures may unintentionally increase disparities. Finally, stakeholders can help validate the classification of consequences as intended or unintended. Conclusion Studying the unintended consequences of COVID-19 mitigation measures is not only possible but also necessary to assess their overall value. The practical guidance presented will help program planners and evaluators gain a more comprehensive understanding of unintended consequences to refine mitigation measures.
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An online survey was conducted in Germany during the lockdown period to assess its psycho-social consequences. A convenience sample N = 2009 (comparable representation of former GDR and West Germany, 71% females) took part in the survey. The results show a negative impact of the corona pandemic on subjective well-being, health and life satisfaction. We also found a lower sense of security and an increase in anxiety. Additional strains follow a social gradient: Most apparent are negative effects on people with low educational background whose general life satisfaction particularly decreased and gender-specific differences in coping with everyday life challenges, this involves in particular mothers, who have to organise childcare and home schooling more often than fathers. Again, while parents generally felt constrained by social consequences of the pandemic, mothers were particularly affected, feeling more often exhausted, nervous and insecure than fathers. However, the crisis had some positives, too: the experience of stress and exhaustion was reduced; the crisis also revealed resources, such as adaptability in dealing with the changed time situation and new opportunities for self-care. The results illustrate that in this time of crisis, the family can be both a place of resilience and retreat as well as a stress factor.
The pandemic triggered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has, apart from a few positive effects, led to massive and manifold impairments of human living conditions for which this article suggests a taxonomy. According to the severity, these impairments have resulted in a deterioration of the psychological well-being for many people and an increased vulnerability for psychological disorders. This has been confirmed by numerous studies and review articles, which also dealt with the question of factors that positively as well as negatively influencing mental health. This review shows that, e.g. suffering from COVID-19 disease, younger age and female gender as well as a pre-existing psychiatric or somatic disease must be considered as special risk factors. Psychotherapists are confronted with the pandemic in different ways. In view of the societal impact psychotherapists have a special role. In addition, the pandemic raises questions on specific issues and specific groups which must be addressed.
Psychological stress caused by epidemics among health care workers and implications for coping with the corona crisis: a literature reviewObjectives: COVID-19 has significantly changed the working and living conditions within a short period. Despite the milder course of the disease in comparison to other countries, employees in the German health care system are particularly affected by the massive impact of the disease on their professional and private lives. From a scientific point of view, summarized empirical evidence made during other epidemics and at the beginning of the COVID-19-pandemic is largely missing. Methods: Narrative review article, literature search on PubMed database. Results: A total of 56 studies were included, 35 of them on the SARS epidemic and seven on COVID-19; included studies reported overall increased stress levels, anxiety and PTSD symptoms due to health care work during various epidemics. Direct contact with patients, quarantine experiences and perceived health risks were further stress factors in epidemics. Participation in intervention studies enabled better management of epidemic-related situations. Conclusions: Healthcare workers are exposed to high workloads because of epidemics, which can have a variety of adverse effects. Recommendations are made for dealing with periods of high exposure during the COVID-19-pandemic.
Fully qualitative surveys, which prioritise qualitative research values, and harness the rich potential of qualitative data, have much to offer qualitative researchers, especially given online delivery options. Yet the method remains underutilised, and there is little in the way of methodological discussion of qualitative surveys. Underutilisation and limited methodological discussion perhaps reflect the dominance of interviewing in qualitative research, and (misplaced) assumptions about qualitative survey data lacking depth. By discussing our experiences of developing online surveys as a tool for qualitative research, we seek to challenge preconceptions about qualitative surveys, and to demonstrate that qualitative surveys are an exciting, flexible method with numerous applications, and advantages for researchers and participants alike. We offer an overview and practical design information, illustrated with examples from some of our studies.
This essay examines the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for health inequalities. It outlines historical and contemporary evidence of inequalities in pandemics—drawing on international research into the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 and the emerging international estimates of socio-economic, ethnic and geographical inequalities in COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. It then examines how these inequalities in COVID-19 are related to existing inequalities in chronic diseases and the social determinants of health, arguing that we are experiencing a syndemicpandemic . It then explores the potential consequences for health inequalities of the lockdown measures implemented internationally as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the likely unequal impacts of the economic crisis. The essay concludes by reflecting on the longer-term public health policy responses needed to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does not increase health inequalities for future generations.
Unintended harm theory as related to public health interventions (PHI) is under developed, with harm evaluation and reporting often absent or incomplete. This review presents a typology for, and underlying factors linked to, PHI-associated unintended harm. This scoping review was conducted electronically and includes articles from 1992 to June of 2013. Out of 2,490 originally identified titles, 26 full-text articles were included that discussed unintended harm associated with PHI. An iterative data analysis process was utilized to identify both a typology and underlying factors associated with unintended harm. A typology of PHI-associated unintended harm was identified: (1) physical; (2) psychosocial; (3) economic; (4) cultural and (5) environmental. Five underlying factors associated with PHI unintended harm emerged: (1) limited and/or poor quality evidence; (2) prevention of one extreme leads to another (boomerang effects); (3) lack of community engagement; (4) ignoring root causes; and (5) higher-income country PHI implementation in a lower- or middle-income country. PHI planning and evaluation frameworks may benefit from the consideration and potential incorporation of the unintended harm typology and underlying factors.
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