Traumatic stress symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic

An ongoing research project of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute of McGill University (Canada) in collaboration with Prof. Sabrina Cipolletta

This research project aims to investigate the experience of COVID-19 in terms of traumatic event and potential inductor of trauma-and stress-related diagnoses (AD and PTSD). More specifically, we will examine the prevalence and severity of AD and PTSD symptoms/self-rated diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic among various international convenience samples.

The primary hypothesis is that the COVID-19 will represent a traumatic event (i.e. represent a life-threat and eliciting fear, helplessness, and horror) for a substantial proportion of individuals, among which some will develop a full-blown AD or a PTSD.

This longitudinal survey will involve a convenience sample of adults completing a short online questionnaire administered. Those who agree to participate to other surveys will be invited to fill-out two other surveys separated by two weeks, over the course of a month. Adults from China, the US, Italy, and Canada affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be invited to complete a 5-min. survey.

This study will provide a much-needed understanding of the potentially traumatizing impact of global viral pandemics. Results from this study can inform the development of appropriate mental health policies at governmental levels and clinical practices servicing affected individuals, allowing them to receive effective interventions.

Considering the immediate relevance of the proposed study to the current social climate, the results will have far reaching implications and will be disseminated through various mediums both within and outside of academia.

The link to the study is (Italian version)

The link to the English version is