Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
Healio Special Report: Health Care and Politics
Source/Disclosures
Source:

APA. Outcome of presidential election offers little stress relief, according to new survey. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/11/post-election-stress. Accessed Nov. 19, 2020.

Disclosures: Healio Psychiatry was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures at time of reporting.
November 19, 2020
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APA: Few Americans experienced stress relief from outcome of presidential election

Source/Disclosures
Source:

APA. Outcome of presidential election offers little stress relief, according to new survey. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/11/post-election-stress. Accessed Nov. 19, 2020.

Disclosures: Healio Psychiatry was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures at time of reporting.
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A total of 17% of American adults reported decreased stress levels since Election Day, with 27% saying their stress has increased, according to poll results released by the American Psychological Association.

“There is no doubt that we continue to face significant challenges in 2020, from the election to the pandemic,” APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, said in a press release. “These findings demonstrate that we are not doing enough as a country to bring our stress under control, which means we are going to be less effective in our various personal and professional roles.”

The Harris Poll conducted the online survey on behalf of the APA between Nov. 12 and 16 and received responses from 2,061 adults aged 18 years or older who resided in the U.S.

A majority of Americans noted that the nation’s future, the COVID-19 pandemic, the current political climate and the 2020 U.S. presidential election outcome were significant life stressors, which highlighted the compounding stressors Americans continue to face in 2020.

After the election, 81% of Americans said the nation’s future was a significant stressor vs. 66% in January 2017. This form of stress was high across political party affiliation, with 83% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans and 80% of independents reporting it as a significant source of stress. The outcome of the 2020 presidential election was a significant stressor among 71% of Americans vs. 49% who said the same, with 77% of Republicans, 74% of Democrats and 65% of independents citing it as such.

Regarding the current political climate, 75% of Americans cited it as a significant stressor vs. 57% who said the same in January 2017, with 64% expressing worry about the potential for a non-peaceful transition of power. By party affiliation, 76% of Democrats, 55% of Republicans and 59% of independents expressed this concern.

Approximately 75% of Americans cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant stressor, with 37% saying their stress related to it had increased over the past month. Women (83%) were more likely than men (73%) to cite the pandemic as a stressor. Further, 79% of adults living in urban areas said COVID-19 was a significant stressor vs. 76% in suburban areas and 72% in rural areas.

The political climate has caused strain between 40% of Americans and their family members, according to the survey results. More than half of parents with children younger than 18 years agreed with this sentiment vs. 35% of adults without a child in this age group. Gen Z adults (50%), millennials (52%) and Gen X (42%) were more likely than their older counterparts (28% of baby boomers and 20% of older adults) to cite the political climate as having strained relationships between them and their family members.

Approximately three-quarters of adults said the current uncertainty in the U.S. caused them stress; however, nearly the same proportion believed the U.S. will overcome the current challenges and expressed hope about their future. A total of 49% of Americans felt the country is on track to become stronger than ever, a sentiment expressed by 62% of Black, 59% of Hispanic and 46% of white adults.

“Many of us are already feeling the effects of chronic stress, such as fatigue, depression, stomachaches and trouble sleeping,” Evans said. “The levels of stress that we’re seeing can make it harder for us to stay healthy during the winter months when we’re already more likely to get sick.”

The APA offered several evidence-based methods to help manage stress over the coming months, including giving yourself permission to take a break from the news, social media or certain people; practicing self-care in 15- or 30-minute increments; and staying connected with family and friends.