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The Association between Fatigue, Anxiety, and Happiness in the Daily Context of Long Covid Patients: An Experience Sampling Study

Dreimann, Julia (2021) The Association between Fatigue, Anxiety, and Happiness in the Daily Context of Long Covid Patients: An Experience Sampling Study.

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Abstract:Background: While some people recover after an acute covid-19 infection, others continue to experience symptoms which is also known as long covid. Even though mental and physical fatigue are the most common long covid symptoms, little is known about their fluctuations and association over time. Anxiety and happiness are factors that might increase or decrease fatigue, respectively. Objective: The aim of the current study was to enhance insights about mental and physical fatigue in long covid and their associations with anxiety and happiness. Method: The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) was utilized to capture repeated momentary self-reports about mental and physical fatigue, anxiety, and happiness over 14 consecutive days. The sample consisted of ten Dutch people with long covid who were discharged from hospital due to a covid-19 infection (Mage = 60), with equally male (50%) and female (50%) participants. The variables were assessed six times a day by one item each. The data was analyzed by means of Linear Mixed Models (LMM) in SPSS. Results: Results showed a strong positive association between mental and physical fatigue over the assessment period (ß = .61, p < .001), significant at both the between person (ß = .57, p < .001) and within person (ß = .49, p < .001) level. Also, strong positive and significant associations were found between mental fatigue and anxiety (ß = .58, p < .001) and physical fatigue and anxiety (ß = .53, p < .001). Finally, while between mental fatigue and happiness a moderate negative and significant association was found (ß = - .48, p < .001), a strong association was found between physical fatigue and happiness (ß = -.61, p < .001). Conclusion: Fatigue has been shown to be a severe and common symptom in long covid patients. Mental and physical fatigue were strongly correlated, and mental fatigue was both related to average physical fatigue as well as physical fatigue at a particular timepoint. Further, the more fatigued participants felt, the more anxious they were as well. Finally, less fatigue was related with more happiness, indicating that strengthening happiness might prevent or decrease symptoms of fatigue.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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