The Stressors and Mental Health during COVID Pandemic in Punjab, India – A Cross-sectional Study

Priyanka Devgun, Kanwal Preet Kaur Gill, Amanpreet Kaur

Abstract


Background: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is unarguably the century’s worst nightmare of communities worldwide. It has overwhelmed the health-care delivery systems and has adversely affected the mental health of populations. In a bid to stop or at best delay the spread of the infection, India has been in a state of conditional lockdown since March 24, 2020. Aims: The present paper attempts to explore the impact of lockdown on mental health of the community in Punjab (India). Research Question: This study was to assess the mental health status and find the various stressors of mental health during COVID pandemic in Punjab. Research Setting and Design: It is a population-based cross-sectional study conducted online and was delimited to the residents of Punjab, India by adopting simple random sampling. Material and Methods: A pretested and pre-designed questionnaire was administered online to participants >18 years of age after getting ethical clearance from the Institutional Ethical Committee. A sample size of 385 was calculated, which was rounded off to 400 using the parameters of precision 5%, population of Punjab 3.4 crores and prevalence of mental ill-health following natural disaster at 50%. DASS 21 scale was used to diagnose the mental health status of the participants. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to the data hence collected using IBM SPSSv.24. Results: Mental health was universally adversely affected in the lockdown period. All the respondents exhibited symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression. About 274 (68.5%) of the 400 respondents were stressed with a mean score of 27.6 ± 8.4, 203 (28.9%) were anxious with a mean score of 19.2 ± 5.7 and a considerable number of respondents 118 (29.5%) showed symptoms of depression with a mean score of 16.3 ± 7.9 on the three subscales of DASS 21. The main stressor in this period was loss of income reported by 315 (78.7%) of the respondents.

Key words: COVID pandemic, lockdown in India, mental health


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