COVID-19 has spread rapidly throughout the world, causing thousands of illnesses and deaths. To fight this pandemic, almost all governments and health authorities have focused on prevention. In March or April, most countries’ officials imposed home quarantine and lockdown measures nationwide.
This study sought to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and anxiety levels among people in Portugal under mandatory home quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results were compared to the general Portuguese population’s HRQoL before the COVID-19 outbreak. This research also aimed to understand the factors that can influence the respondents’ HRQoL.
A sample of Portugal’s population quarantined at home (n = 904) filled in an online survey comprising the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item and the EQ-5D-5L and other questions about sociodemographic characteristics, feelings, duties and activities during the quarantine. The sample was weighted to mirror the general population’s gender, age and education. Descriptive analyses and correlation coefficients were used to evaluation the respondents’ anxiety and HRQoL. Generalised linear models were estimated to identify determinants of HRQoL during the COVID-19 quarantine.
The results show that individuals quarantined at home reported higher anxiety and lower HRQoL levels and that people with more anxiety tended to have a lower HRQoL. Females and elderly individuals experienced the highest levels of anxiety and poorest HRQoL. In addition, HRQoL during the quarantine can be explained by various occupational and attitudinal variables, as well as sociodemographic variables.
Individuals’ mental health should be taken into consideration during pandemics or other emergency situations. Anxiety and other factors can decrease people’s HRQoL, in conjunction with the pandemic’s social and economic consequences.