The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

26 Feb 2020
by The Lancet

When the team at My Mirror came across the following 'Rapid Review' from The Lancet, we immediately recognised its value to inform our psychologists about the psychological impact of quarantine. As published by The Lancet, this 'Rapid Review' emphasises the importance of exploring the "likely effects" that quarantine has "on mental health and psychological wellbeing, and the factors that contribute to, or mitigate, these effects.".

Article summary (as published by The Lancet):

The December, 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. We did a Review of the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included in this Review. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.

Read the full 'Rapid Review' at The Lancet

Brooks, S.K., Webster, R.K., Smith, L.E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., Rubin, G.J. The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from


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