PURPOSE: To examine associations between COVID-19-related stressors and symptoms of depression and anxiety in Black cisgender sexual minority men (SMM) and transgender women during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: Participants from the N2 Cohort Study comprised Black cisgender SMM and Black transgender women in Chicago, IL, completed a face-to-face video or phone interview between April 20 and July 31, 2020. The survey included 18 measures of individual, network, and structural COVID-19 stressors such as income loss, network COVID-19 diagnoses, and housing loss, as well as 5 outcome measures: anxiety, depression, loneliness, worry and hope.
RESULTS: Of 226 participants, 56.6% experienced anxiety on at least 1 of the last 14 days, 48.7% experienced depression, 48.7% experienced loneliness, 42.0% experienced worry, and 51.8% did not experience hope. Completing the study during a later phase of reopening was associated with hopefulness, RR = 1.37 95% CI [1.02, 1.85]. Fifteen of the 18 multi-level COVID-19 stressors were associated with 1 or more symptoms of depression and anxiety, for example, physical stress reactions, income loss, food loss, medication loss, network COVID-19 diagnoses, partner violence, housing loss, and neighborhood pandemic concerns (aRRs = 0.61-2.78, ps < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: COVID-19-related stressors were associated with depression and anxiety symptoms in Black cisgender SMM and transgender women. Mitigation strategies to reduce virus transmission should be supplemented with measures to prevent depression and anxiety among marginalized populations, such as targeted economic relief and eHealth/mHealth interventions.
COVID-19 stressors and symptoms of depression and anxiety among Black cisgender sexual minority men and Black transgender women during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology [Epub 2022 Apr 22]. doi: 10.1007/s00127-022-02282-2. PMCID: PMC9030680.