Effects of Interoceptive Sensibility on Mental Health during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Author: Naho Suzuki1, Tetsuya Yamamoto2, Chigusa Uchiumi2, Nagisa Sugaya3
1 Graduate School of Sciences and Technology for Innovation, Tokushima University, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan.
2 Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan.
3 Unit of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2021 Apr 27
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Issue ID: 9 , Pages: 4616 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094616. , Word Count: 178

The current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has been reported to influence interoceptive sensibility. This study focused on adaptive and maladaptive aspects of interoceptive sensibility and examined how each aspect of interoceptive sensibility affects depression, anxiety, and somatization symptoms under the mild lockdown in Japan, which was not enforceable and a non-punitive lockdown. We used data from 10,672 participants who lived in prefectures where the emergency declaration was first applied in Japan. Interoceptive sensibility was measured by the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA). The findings show that Noticing, a subscale of the MAIA, significantly contributed to the worsening of psychological and somatic symptoms (all ps < 0.001). Conversely, Not-Distracting, Not-Worrying, Self-Regulation, and Trusting significantly contributed to the decrease of these symptoms (all ps < 0.05). The findings suggest that two aspects of interoceptive sensibility affected mental health in different ways during the mild lockdown. Mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions would be effective in terms of enhancing adaptive aspects of interoceptive sensibility.

Keywords: COVID-19; anxiety; body awareness; depression; interoception; interoceptive sensibility; mental health; multidimensional assessment of interoceptive awareness; quarantine; somatization symptoms.

PMID: 33925328 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18094616