Covid-19's impact on mental health & medical mistrust: How Covid-19 affects each of us differently
The present study investigated how medical mistrust and Covid-19 impacts American adults through analyzing relationships between mental health, CDC adherence, vaccine hesitancy, and race/ethnicity. The hypotheses were that medical mistrust and Covid-19 would negatively affect mental health, CDC adherence and vaccine hesitancy, that African American and Hispanic participants would suffer worse health outcomes, and medical mistreatment would be a precursor to medical mistrust. To evaluate these hypotheses, participants (N=213) completed an online survey which consisted of sections from the John Hopkins Medical Mistrust Survey (Brandon, et al., 2005), Americans’ COVID 19 Adherence to CDC Guidelines (Park et al., 2020), and the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (Cai et al., 2021). The study found that having Covid-19 and higher medical mistrust significantly increased participant hesitations to receive the Covid-19 vaccine or booster. It was also found that participants who experienced medical mistreatment reported higher rates of medical mistrust. However, anxiety, depression, CDC adherence, and race/ethnicity did not have significant relationships with either Covid-19 or medical mistrust. These findings suggest that medical mistreatment could be a predictor of medical mistrust which is then a predictor of vaccine hesitancy, showing the negative and wide-reaching impact of medical mistreatment. For hypotheses that did not find significant relationships, limitations in sample size were likely a contributing factor.