PLoS One. 2024 May 7;19(5):e0297169. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0297169. eCollection 2024.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: This study examined the potential influence of pre-pandemic psychological resilience on use of approach or avoidant coping styles and strategies to manage stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized that higher resilience would be associated with more approach coping and less avoidant coping.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Longitudinal cohort data were from the Nurses’ Health Study II, including 13,143 female current and former healthcare professionals with pre-pandemic lifetime trauma. Pre-pandemic resilience was assessed between 2018-2019 and current coping during the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States (May-August 2020). Multiple linear regression model results identified associations between continuous pre-pandemic resilience scores and use of approach and avoidant coping styles, as well as individual coping strategies, adjusting for relevant covariates.

RESULTS: Greater resilience was associated with higher use of approach coping (ß = 0.06, 95% CI 0.05, 0.08) and lower use of avoidant coping styles (ß = -0.39, 95% CI -0.41, -0.38). Higher pre-pandemic resilience was also associated with use of eight (distraction [ß = -0.18, 95% CI -0.20, -0.16], substance use [ß = -0.15, 95% CI -0.17, -0.13], behavioral disengagement [ß = -0.29, 95% CI -0.30, -0.27], self-blame [ß = -0.44, 95% CI -0.45, -0.42], emotional support (ß = 0.03, 95% CI 0.01, 0.05), positive reframing [ß = 0.13, 95% CI 0.12, 0.15], humor [ß = 0.03, 95% CI 0.01, 0.05] and religion [ß = 0.06, 95% CI 0.04, 0.08]) of the nine coping strategies in expected directions.

CONCLUSION: Findings have important implications for intervention or even prevention efforts to support vulnerable groups, such as women with prior trauma histories, during this and other immensely stressful times. Supporting or building psychological resilience following trauma may promote effective coping in times of future stress.

PMID:38713693 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0297169