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Health-Related Quality of Life and Its Socio-Demographic and Behavioural Correlates during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Estonia

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The  aim  of  the  study  was  to  analyse  health-related  quality  of  life  (HRQoL)  among  the Estonian  general  population  and  its  socio-demographic  and  behavioural  correlates  during  the COVID-19  pandemic.  Longitudinal  data  on  1781  individuals  from  an  Estonian  rapid-assessment survey on COVID-19 were used. HRQoL was assessed with the EQ-5D-3L in June 2020 (baseline) and in May 2021 (follow-up). The HRQoL index score and its socio-demographic and behavioural variations   were   analysed   using   paired t-tests   and   Tobit   regression   modelling.   Statistically significant  declines  in  mean  EQ-5D  index  scores  were  observed  for  all  socio-demographic  and behavioural  variables  considered.  Most  of  these  changes  were  due  to  increased  reporting  of problems   in   the   pain/discomfort   and   anxiety/depression   health   domains.   Older   age,   being unemployed   or   economically   non-active  and   having   financial  difficulties  were   significantly associated with lower HRQoL in both baseline and follow-up measurements. In the follow-up data, women had significantly lower HRQoL compared to men, whereas higher education proved to be the only protective factor regarding HRQoL. Unhealthy dietary habits and low physical activity had a negative impact on the HRQoL score in the follow-up data. These results indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on HRQoL in the Estonian population.

Keywords: health-related  quality  of  life;  EQ-5D;  health  behaviour;  COVID-19  pandemic; Estonia; inequalities 



International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH)
Merili Tamson, Rainer Reile, Diana Sokurova, Kaire Innos, Eha Nurk, Kaia Laidra, Sigrid Vorobjov