Coronavirus (COVID-19): mental health tracker study - wave 1 report

Findings of wave 1 of the Scottish COVID-19 (SCOVID) Mental Health Tracker Study based on questionnaire data collected between 28 May and 21 June 2020 (a period which coincided with the Phase 1 easing of lockdown measures).

Annex 1. Description of subgroups

This report presents the top level results from the survey, as well as a description of which subgroups, as summarised in Table 2.2, have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following outlines how the groups are defined:

  • Sex is reported as men and women in this report. The numbers reporting other gender identities were too small to be robust in the analysis. Sex was based upon sex assigned at birth.
  • Age was grouped into three age groups to reflect different stages across the life span; young adults (18-29 years), a middle age group (30-59 years) and an older age group (60+ years).
  • Ethnicity was grouped into White and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups, and includes those who have identified as Mixed.
  • Socioeconomic grouping (SEG) variable was created by grouping the higher SEG occupational groups (Higher SEG=A, B, C1) and the lower SEG groups (Lower SEG=C2, D, E). Higher SEG included AB = Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations, C1 = Supervisory, clerical & junior managerial, administrative, professional occupations. Lower SEG included C2 = Skilled manual occupations, DE = Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, unemployed and lowest grade occupations.
  • Pre-existing mental health condition included all respondents who reported a mental health problem. Depression (80.5%) and anxiety (70.4%) were the mental health conditions most commonly reported. Table A in the annex provides an overview of respondents' pre-existing physical and mental health conditions.
  • Urban areas included city, large towns and small towns, and rural included isolated dwellings, hamlets, and villages.
  • Respondents were asked if they looked after or gave regular help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of either long-term physical, mental ill-health, disability; or problems related to old age, separate from paid employment. Those who had unpaid caring responsibilities were divided into two groups; those with any caring responsibilities and those with more than 5 hours per week of caring responsibilities.
  • Key workers were defined as those in posts which ensure delivery of essential services covering tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. This includes health and care workers, emergency/critical welfare services, emergency/critical welfare services, food producers, supermarket workers, public transport, and delivery drivers.
  • Change of working status included respondents whose working status had changed during the COVID-19 lockdown, including working from home (30.2%), furloughed (28.4%) or had a reduction in paid employment (11.8%).
  • The high-risk group designation was self-selecting and made up of those who were aged 70+ and/or had an underlying health condition that may place them at higher risk from COVID-19.
  • Those in the shielding group were identified as such if they reported having received a letter from the Government asking them to shield during lockdown.
  • Other household factors including living alone compared to not living alone, and having dependents (under 5 or under 16 years old) in the household.



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