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Technical information

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In view of the evolution of the pandemic by COVID-19 in Brazil, and the adoption of social restriction measures, an increase in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders and depression is expected. In epidemic situations, mental health services can become overwhelmed; however, it is not known how these disorders evolved over time. This study aims to monitor the evolution of PTSD symptoms, anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazilians, and to investigate sociodemographic risk factors related to psychiatric history and contagion, as well as maladaptive personality traits and post-traumatic growth . It will be a longitudinal study, carried out through online questionnaires, with a sample of non-probabilistic convenience. The inclusion criteria are: being born in Brazil or residing in Brazilian territory; being over 18; have access to digital devices; and be literate. A sample of at least 2000 people is expected. The instruments applied are a research questionnaire, the Posttraumatic Checklist 5 (PCL-5), the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 - brief form (PID-5-BF ), and the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). The study will be carried out in four stages: entry, one month, three months, and six months after. The study has voluntary participation, with the agreement through the Free and Informed Consent Form. Data collection will be carried out in 2020, and the study will be completed in 2021. It will be financed with its own resources, and incentives will be sought through the agencies that promote research.

Keywords: Pandemics; Psychological stress; Depression; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Anxiety Disorders.



Monitor the evolution of PTSD symptoms, depression and anxiety in a sample of Brazilians, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify sociodemographic risk factors and those related to maladaptive personality traits.


  • Identify patterns of evolution (trajectories) of PTSD symptoms;

  • Document and report in real time the sample prevalence and severity of PTSD symptoms at the beginning, during, and in the decline of the pandemic;

  • To verify sociodemographic risk factors and those related to maladaptive personality traits associated with PTSD symptom trajectories;

  • Check the stability of the maladaptive personality traits during the pandemic, that is, verify that these traits remain stable even during life events, or not;

  • Relate symptoms with variables attributed to exposure to COVID19, such as contact with cases, having contracted the disease, being in regions with high incidence, being quarantined / socially isolated and others;

  • Compare symptoms presented by professionals who were unable to quarantine during the indicated period (professionals in essential areas, such as health, cleaning, food, delivery, etc.), with individuals who were quarantined;

  • Relate post-traumatic growth to PTSD trajectories and personality traits.


Bearing in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is in full evolution in Brazil and in the world, and the moment in time that the country is in, this study brings the following hypotheses:

  • H1: There are at least four trajectories of PTSD symptoms, identified over 6 months of evolution: little symptomatic (resistant), rapid recovery (resilient), gradual growth, and chronic.

  • H2: The trajectories of more severe symptoms are associated with worse sociodemographic indicators (unemployment, being single, low income, etc.)

  • H3: Personality traits, such as negative affectivity, disinhibition and psychoticism are associated with worse symptom evolution.

  • H4: Post-traumatic growth, six months after the beginning of the study, is negatively associated with negative affectivity and detachment; and positively associated with psychoticism.

  • H5: The maladaptive personality traits remain stable for six months of evolution, on the resistant and resilient trajectory.


Project: Monitoring the evolution of post-traumatic symptoms, depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazilians

Researcher in charge: Dr. Vitor Crestani Calegaro

(CRM 31676 - RQE 25478)

Institution / Department: Federal University of Santa Maria / Department of Neuropsychiatry

Registration number: 053991  

This research was evaluated by the National Research Ethics Commission (CONEP) , CAAE 30420620.5.0000.5346.

We are a family owned and operated business.

Financing: this project is being funded by the researchers' own resources.

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