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Psychological Impacts of Coronavirus Outbreaks on Adults: A Rapid Evidence Review

Emily Berger1,*, Negar Jamshidi2, Andrea Reupert1

1 Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Victoria, 3800, Australia
2 School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Bundoora, 3083, Australia

* Corresponding Author: Emily Berger. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(5), 619-634.


A recent rapid review highlighted the negative psychological impacts of quarantining during coronavirus outbreaks on the public. However, to date, there has been no review of the psychological impacts of coronavirus on adults using research from community samples and not restricted to people quarantined during coronavirus. A rapid review was conducted to provide timely evidence about the mental health implications of coronavirus outbreaks on adults and to inform psychological research concerning the current COVID-19 outbreak. Three databases and Google Scholar were searched and a total of 27 studies were identified. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were identified during coronavirus outbreaks alongside concerns about becoming infected and family becoming infected. Those with pre-existing mental health conditions, young adults, women and those reporting physical symptoms appear to be vulnerable to negative psychological outcomes during coronavirus outbreaks. How people think about and understand coronavirus, and the coping strategies employed by people, may play a role in mitigating negative psychological outcomes. Results demonstrate the adverse psychological impacts of coronavirus outbreaks on adults and the need for continued investment in mental health services for the wider community during these times. Further longitudinal research is required to ascertain the long-term psychological consequences of coronavirus outbreaks. This review can be used to inform continued research on the psychological impacts of COVID-19 on adults.


Cite This Article

Berger, E., Jamshidi, N., Reupert, A. (2022). Psychological Impacts of Coronavirus Outbreaks on Adults: A Rapid Evidence Review. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(5), 619–634.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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