Assessment of Stress and Resilience in the General Population during COVID-19: A Cross-sectional Study
No. 16/28, Jayaraman Street, Pazhavanthangal, Chennai-600061, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has quickly spread worldwide, causing numerous challenges for people, such as lockdowns, isolation, and subsequent mental stress. Developing mental resilience is crucial for handling stress effectively. Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stress and the resilience of the Indian population enables insight and facilitates thoughtful reformation in aiding the community.
Aim: To assess the stress and resilience among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic and to find the association between demographic variables and stress and resilience. Additionally, the study aimed to evaluate the correlation between stress and resilience among these subjects.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, from February 2021 to April 2021. A total of 740 willing respondents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic participated in the study. A snowball sampling method was used in which participants were approached via a Google form circulated through their known contacts. The study encompassed those who had experienced either direct or indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The user-friendly Google form collected essential demographic information such as gender, marital status, and employment type. The stress and resilience levels were measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Resilience Scale. The statistical analysis of sample characteristics with frequency distributions and categorical variables was done with the application of Chi-square tests. Correlation analysis was done using the Spearman's test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The research demonstrated remarkably low resilience levels and heightened stress levels among female participants (p<0.001, p<0.001) as well as single individuals (p=0.001, p<0.001). Conversely, a significant number of married men exhibited greater resilience (p=0.013) and reduced stress levels (p<0.001) compared to the rest of the population. Individuals in formal employment experienced less stress compared to those in informal employment (p=0.008). Notably, there was a moderate negative correlation between perceived stress and resilience which was significant (r=-0.562, p<0.001).
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected mental health and coping mechanisms; factors such as gender, social connections, and financial stability play significant roles. The study found that women, single individuals, and those working in informal sectors faced increased stress during these challenging times. Hence, psychological interventions targeting the pandemic crisis need to be planned considering the highlighted biological, socio-economic, and occupational factors.