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Stada Group

Year That Changed Europe’s Health Picture

Europeans have confirmed the clear impact of the pandemic on the mental state of citizens: one in four people feels restless, while even more of them are suffering from anxiety and 15 per cent of respondents say they have trouble sleeping

The burnout syndrome is most pronounced among Serbian citizens – as shown by the results of a new international research study conducted by the Stada Group, to which Serbia’s Hemofarm belongs, on how Europeans have coped with the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which their lives have changed during the previous period.

Under the scope of this research, Stada examined the thoughts of people in 15 European countries (including Serbia) regarding the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on their physical and mental health, their habits related to health and hygiene, and also the extent to which they trust health workers, but also so-called influencers in this area.

Lockdowns and other restrictions imposed during the pandemic had a significant impact on Europeans: almost one in three residents (29 per cent) suffered from elevated anxiety levels, while one in four had problems with stress and internal unrest. Another 15 per cent of Europeans reported sleeping disorders. These symptoms more often affected young Europeans than those aged over 35. When it comes to the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of citizens in Serbia, a third of respondents (31%) admit that it caused them stress leading to internal unrest, while at the same time almost as many respondents (29%) said that they didn’t experience any mental health issues as a consequence of the pandemic.

The possibility of contracting COVID-19 is not the main cause of concern: most Europeans were harder hit by the lack of personal contact with family and friends (52 per cent). Fear of infection is ranked second, with 42 per cent, while almost a third of respondents are concerned about the financial and business consequences of the pandemic. Feelings are similar among citizens of Serbia: 51 per cent of them were most concerned about the lack of contact with their nearest and dearest, while fear of infection was confirmed as the greatest concern by 39 per cent of respondents in the country. Fear related to finances and future business was also confirmed by 39 per cent of Serbian citizens surveyed.

When it comes to the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of citizens in Serbia, a third of respondents (31%) admit that it caused them stress leading to internal unrest, while at the same time almost as many respondents (29%) said that they didn’t experience any mental health issues as a consequence of the pandemic

When it comes to prevention and a healthy lifestyle, the vast majority of Europeans (70%) are willing to invest more in their own health. Specifically, 45% of respondents now eat a healthier and more varied diet, while they are also willing to pay extra for that. Approximately a third of Europeans have recently added some form of physical activity to their leisure activities. In Serbia, more than half of respondents (54%) confirmed that they’ve bought healthier and better-quality food during the previous period, and almost a third (mostly among the younger population) have dedicated themselves to sports.

Hygiene measures have played an unprecedented role in our lives to date. However, Europeans don’t want to collectively abandon them any time soon: 45 per cent of respondents said that they will continue regularly washing their hands, a third plan to maintain the recommended minimum safe distance from others, while a fifth even want to continue wearing facemasks in public.

Generally speaking, 74% of Europeans are satisfied with their healthcare system. Compared with the previous year, this number was down three per cent. Swiss citizens feel like they receive the best care (91%), while Ukrainians are most dissatisfied with their healthcare system (25%).

For 73 per cent of Europeans, doctors are the first point of contact for all health issues, while pharmacists and scientists also enjoy great trust (60 per cent each). As many as 81 per cent of respondents are convinced that pharmacists and scientists, together with medical personnel, are the most deserving of our gratitude for their work in the struggle against COVID.

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