Depression, Perceived Stress and Socio-demographic Correlates among General Population During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey from Southern India
Dr. Aravind Karunakaran,
Manakat, CRRA B-3, Chalakuzhy Road, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram-695004, Kerala, India.
Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its socio-economic consequences have had a significant impact on mental health. A quantifiable data regarding increase of mental health problems as a result of the pandemic is required to take necessary steps in tackling the issue.
Aim: To estimate the prevalence of depression, perceived stress and its socio-demographic correlates among general population of South India during COVID-19.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey conducted from 25th August 2021 to 25th October 2021 among the general population of South India during COVID-19. A total of 600 subjects were enrolled into the study. Study subjects included people of either sex between 20-50 years of age who were able to read and understand English and with access to internet. Subjects responded to a questionnaire packet of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS-10) and a proforma for socio-demographic data. Data was analysed using GNU PSPP version 1. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and independent t-test were used to assess associations. A value of p-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to determine correlation.
Results: Of the 600 subjects who were enrolled into the study, 26.7%, 15.7%, 9.3% and 7.2% had mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe depression, respectively. About 62.7% had moderate and 17.5% had high perceived stress. Whereas, 28.7% had death wishes or thoughts to hurt themselves. Females (PHQ-9: p-value=0.006; PSS-10: p-value <0.001), 20-29 age group (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001), students (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001), those who were unmarried (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001), living with parents (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001), those who had a loss of income (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value=0.018) or job (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001) in the past one year, those with a history of psychiatry disorder (PHQ-9: p-value <0.001; PSS-10: p-value <0.001) had a significantly higher score in both depression and perceived stress. Correlation analysis showed a significant correlation between depression and perceived stress scores (r=0.691).
Conclusion: The present study showed a high prevalence of depression and perceived stress and shows the need for strengthening mental health services to address the challenge.