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Self-Perceived Life Satisfaction during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Sweden: A Cross-Sectional Study


Abstract: Currently, there is limited knowledge on how the Swedish strategy with more lenient public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced people’s life satisfaction. Here, we investigated self-reported life satisfaction during the first wave of the pandemic in Sweden, and perceived changes in life satisfaction in relation to various sociodemographic factors. A total of 1082 people (mean age 48 (SD 12.2); 82% women) responded to an online survey during autumn 2020 including the “Life Satisfaction Questionnaire-11”. A majority (69%) were satisfied with life as a whole, and with other important life domains, with the exception of contact with friends and sexual life. An equal share reported that life as a whole had either deteriorated (28%) or improved (29%). Of those that perceived a deterioration, 95% considered it to be due to the pandemic. Regarding deteriorated satisfaction with life as a whole, higher odds were found in the following groups: having no children living at home; being middle aged; having other sources of income than being employed; and having a chronic disease. The Swedish strategy might have contributed to the high proportion of satisfied people. Those who perceived a deterioration in life satisfaction may, however, need attention from Swedish Welfare Authorities.
Keywords: life satisfaction / COVID-19 pandemic / health

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