A Qualitative Content Analysis of Online Public Mental Health Resources for COVID-19

Faith Martin, Thomas Oliver

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The COVID-19 pandemic has far reaching potential public mental health impacts and is linked to higher levels of depression and anxiety. To address these in part, online information resources acted as mass interventions. It is vital to explore the content of these interventions, to consider the framing of the pandemic and to examine the extent to which their content is relevant. In March 2020, a qualitative content analysis was undertaken of 39 easily accessible online resources that offered advice, tips or guidance relating to mental health or mental wellbeing and COVID-19. Their content was compared to subsequent reports of the mental health impact of the pandemic. Resources frequently focused on anxiety. The content of intervention was typically of a cognitive-behavioral nature, with a significant focus on maintaining social contact. Typically, distress related to the situation was normalized and stigmatizing language was not seen. Data revealed a significant impact of the pandemic on depression as well as anxiety measures in the general UK population. A key recommendation is to ensure both depression and anxiety are addressed in these public mental health resources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number553158
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Early online date24 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Psychiatry
  • information quality
  • online intervention
  • qualitative
  • mental health
  • COVID-19
  • mass intervention
  • online health information


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