Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Psychological Health
Objective: The objective of this study is to understand the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the population of Karachi, Pakistan during the initial phases of the pandemic.
Methods: Online questionnaire-based survey was conducted; an online cross-sectional survey study design was used for this research. Study setting is Karachi where the first case was reported in Pakistan. The population study included the living in Karachi during the pandemic. Assessment tools used to measure the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic were impact of the event scale-revised (IES-R) and DASS-21 scale.
Results: We have measured the psychological impact of this pandemic, and the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among the general population. 427 responses were included all collected from Karachi, majority of the respondents were: female (65.6%), between the ages of 18 to 24 years (40%), were married (57.6%) having children (43.9%). Moderate level of depression, anxiety and stress was found in the population in related to COVID-19 pandemic. Most reported symptoms among the population were; (55.5%), headache (47.1%), body ache (40.5%). Significant association was found between gender, working in healthcare profession, testing for COVID-19, someone close testing positive, and having COVID-19 like symptoms to depression, anxiety and stress as well as having psychological impact.
Conclusion: Majority of the population was exhibiting symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress ranging from mild to moderate in severity. Almost 62% respondents were suffering from mild to moderate level of depression, 53% of the population were showing moderate levels of anxiety. However, the stress level and the overall psychological impact were found to be in normal ranges among majority of the study population.
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