Mental health problems during COVID-19 lockdown among adults in Ernakulam district, Kerala
Keywords:Mental health, COVID-19, Lockdown
Background: The global pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 virus, has affected people's lives in many ways. Lockdown implemented worldwide has resulted in restriction of life inside the home, suspending all non-essential outdoor activities, losing jobs, and even not meeting the dear ones. The out-patient and in-patient services at all health facilities have been affected significantly. This unprecedented calamity could potentially cause or exacerbate various mental disorders. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of mental health issues in people aged 18 years and above due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Methods: A cross sectional study was done during the lockdown period, including a total of 640 individuals aged 18 years and above. A semi-structured, pre-validated, standard questionnaire in Google form format was used to collect the data. Data were entered in Microsoft excel and was analyzed using SPSS ver16.
Results: Fear of infection withSARS-CoV-2was seen in 13.9% of the study population, more among females (15.38%) and in those aged 30 years and above (21.17%) which was statistically significant (p<0.05). Prevalence of self-reported feeling of depression was among 56.9% of the participants, with females reporting more than males (45.26%). In those below 30 years of age, 45.22% reported to be feeling depressed, showing a statistically significant association. Experiencing financial crisis and difficulty in availing essential needs during lockdown were also significant contributing factors of self-reported depression (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Mental health has been considerably affected by lockdown-related stress. Hence, mental health support services and reassurance and awareness on COVID-19 need to be strengthened among the general population.
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