RESEARCH ARTICLE


Evaluation of Vulnerability Factors for Developing Stress and Depression due to COVID-19 Spread and its Associated Lockdown



Ahmed Alhusban1, 2, *, Karem H. Alzoubi1, 2, Sayer Al-Azzam2, Khawla Q Nuseir2
1 Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Alhusban et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; Tel: 971523634829; E-mail:aalhusban@sharjah.ac.ae


Abstract

Background:

COVID-19 is a pandemic that has been widespread throughout the world. The disease and the measures employed to contain its spread have a detrimental effect on the mental health of individuals. Countries across the world have applied variable combinations of quarantine and social distancing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. This project aims at identifying the susceptible groups for the development of depression and stress due to COVID-19-associated containment measures. This evaluation will help in prioritizing efforts to ameliorate the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on psychological health.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted through an online survey that included questions on the demographics and COVID-19 experience. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was evaluated using the PHQ-9 survey, whereas stress levels were detected using the perceived stress scale (PSS). Data regarding demographics as well as exposure to COVID-19, working at home and the financial impact of the pandemic were collected.

Results:

Data were collected from 1541 participants from the MENA region. Depressive symptoms were detected in 54.2% of the participants, and the average stress score was 18.4±0.8. Adjusting for demographics and other variables, younger participants were more likely to report depressive symptoms and higher stress scores. Additionally, younger age, female gender, the coexistence of depressive symptoms, negative effects on monthly income, and ability to do work were found to be independent predictors of higher stress scores.

Conclusion:

Young individuals are more likely to develop depression symptoms and stress. Thus, there is a need for prompt measures to alleviate COVID-19-associated effects on this group.

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Mental health, Depression, Stress, Public.