COVID-19 and Mental Health: a Longitudinal Population Study from Norway

Hans Hvide* (Corresponding Author), Julian Johnsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Existing research has found negative short-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health problems, but longer-term effects have been less documented. Using newly released register data on all general practitioner consultations in Norway through 2020 (about 14 million consultations in total), we find that during the spring and early summer 2020, the number of psychological cases initially increased relative to prior years, but then fell back towards the level of prior years during the summer 2020. In early September 2020, the number of cases accelerated, a pattern that held up through December 2020, so that the gap between 2020 and prior years became
largest end-of-year. Our findings suggest that the accumulated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health far exceeds the short-term effects. The effects were particularly strong for females and for residents in urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Early online date27 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2022


  • primary care
  • mental health
  • psychological disorder
  • psychological symptoms


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