This Research Topic is part of our Regional Perspectives series. Other regionally focused collections in this series:Assessing and Evaluating the Psychosocial Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on Anxiety and Stress: Perspectives from the Indian Sub-ContinentAssessing and Evaluating the Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic on Anxiety And Stress: Perspectives from North AmericaAssessing and Evaluating the Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic on Anxiety And Stress: Perspectives from South America
The Covid-19 pandemic has unduly affected the mental health care system and mental health well-being of people globally due to a plethora of potential impacts on our own health, health care systems, and the economy amongst others. While waves of Covid fluctuate globally, challenges to providing appropriate mental health care services and
developing effective solutions in terms of prevention and treatment for anxiety and stress-related disorders remain major concerns.
Despite differences in the economic, social and political structures of societies in countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland on the one hand, and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on the other, there are several similarities in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. First of all, the societies in question demonstrated a pervasively high level of distrust in their own government's anti-epidemic measures (ranging from quarantine and masking to vaccination). Everywhere there was a high level of anti-science sentimentality. Not surprisingly, it was in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that anti-vaccination sentiments were particularly widespread.
Vaccination statistics provide objective evidence of the unity of public sentiment in this vast region. Even at the end of May 2022 the percentage of fully vaccinated population in all Eastern European members of the European Union remains well below the EU average (73%). In Slovakia it is only 50%. In Central Asia the situation is even more difficult. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, only 19% of the population is fully vaccinated. The pandemic has revealed an unexpected unity among the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, not only in the level of enlightenment of their societies, but also in the issue of mutual trust between people and the very small radius of that trust.
The goal of this Research Topic is to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on anxiety and stress, looking at the impact on the general population in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, on patients and healthcare staff, both during the initial waves and also in the context of long Covid in this region. There is also a unique opportunity to explore possible cross-cultural differences in the expression of anxiety and stress in these times, and to study anxiety and stress in relation to the Covid pandemic using longitudinal designs. We look forward to contributions to novel digital interventions which can increase the feasibility and general access to mental health care treatment.
We invite researchers to submit a range of articles focused on research from Eastern Europe and Central Asia including but not limited to original research articles, reviews, opinions, perspectives, and case reports on the following:
• prevalence and associated factors of anxiety and stress during the Covid-19 pandemic
• neuropsychological symptoms of hospitalized Covid-19 patients
• the associations between long Covid, anxiety, and stress
• changes in psychiatric inpatient services
• integration of digital mental health care solutions
• gender differences.