Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Emese Vitalis, PhD, MBA

Second Advisor

Bradley Olson, PhD


The focus in this study was to investigate whether people who continue to experience a disordered sense of smell after recovering from COVID-19 are more likely to have higher levels of depressive symptoms. Data collection involved two questionnaires: the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to assess depressive symptoms and the Assessment of Self-Reported Olfactory Functioning and Olfaction-Related Quality of Life (ASOF) to assess olfactory functioning. Additionally, general survey questions were asked to evaluate physical and mental health outcomes related to COVID-19. Results showed individuals who did not subjectively return to their baseline sense of smell after recovering from COVID-19 had lower levels of olfactory functioning and higher levels of depressive symptoms. Regression analyses were conducted to predict scores for levels of depression and levels of olfactory functioning using the following significant predictor variables: COVID-related smell change (SRC), initial emotional response to COVID (HFCE), number of treatments for depression (TFD), smell-related problems (ASOF2, SRP), and olfactory-related quality of life (ASOF3, ORQ). In addition, preexisting smell problems before COVID (SPBC), the severity of depression measured by the PHQ-9 scale, and the time until smell improved (HLSI) were included as predictor variables. The models predicting level of depression and level of olfactory functioning explained 54.0% and 68.8% of the variance, respectively. This study provides insights for future research in this area.