The impact of lockdown on mental health and quality of life in the university community in Greece and Cyprus

H. Tsangari, C. Michailidou, L. Charalambous, C. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE To examine the psychological impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the university community in Greece and Cyprus. METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted, with a total sample of 308 faculty and students. Mental health was evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), while the EQ-5D-L was used to assess quality of life. Changes in habits like smoking and drinking were also examined. In addition, the relation between mental health and physical health (as measured with the McGill Pain Questionnaire [SF-MP]) was studied. Various statistical tests (mostly non-parametric) were implemented. RESULTS During lockdown, the members of the academic community switched to online education and experienced a restriction of indoor and outdoor activities. Overall, caffeine consumption increased (p=0.024), while alcohol consumption reduced (p<0.001). Most participants had normal levels of anxiety and depression; however 17% were classified as abnormal cases. Those with high levels of anxiety experienced high levels of depression (p<0.001). Increasing smoking was related to higher anxiety (p=0.027). Higher pain intensity was also significantly related with higher levels of mental health problems (all p<0.05). The quality of life was satisfactory. However, those with higher pain intensity, as well as those with changes in daily habits, such as smoking, had significantly lower quality of life (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS Lockdown periods due to the COVID-19 pandemic appear to have had a negative effect on the university community. The change in work routine and daily habits and restrictions of activities were associated with psychological consequences and mental distress, including anxiety and depression. Mental health issues lower the general quality of life and thus special attention should be given to self-care or targeted interventions for groups at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-499
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Hellenic Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Lockdown
  • Quality of life


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