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    Research Letter
    June 3, 2020

    Psychological Distress and Loneliness Reported by US Adults in 2018 and April 2020

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
    • 2Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    JAMA. 2020;324(1):93-94. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9740

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) introduced stressors to mental health, including loneliness stemming from social isolation, fear of contracting the disease, economic strain, and uncertainty about the future. We fielded a national survey measuring symptoms of psychological distress and loneliness among US adults in April 2020 and compared results with national data from 2018.

    We fielded the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey from April 7 to April 13, 2020, using NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel. AmeriSpeak is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the US adult population. The panel is sourced from NORC’s area probability sample and from a US Postal Service address–based sample covering 97% of US households.1 The panel has a recruitment rate of 34% and includes approximately 35 000 members. The sample for the Johns Hopkins survey was drawn from this panel and the survey was administered online. NORC obtains informed consent prior to enrolling individuals in the panel. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health institutional review board deemed this study not human participants research and waived informed consent.

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