Depression during COVID-19 Pandemic in India: Findings from an Online Survey
Introduction: Unpredictable evolution of COVID-19 pandemic has generated uncertainties in minds of people thereby impacting their mental health. Global evidence supports rising trend of symptoms of depression among general population during the pandemic.
Material and Method: It was a cross-sectional study conducted between April 15 and May 01, 2020. Data were collected using pre-structured questionnaire that was circulated through a web-based link via messages and mails. Depressive symptoms were assessed using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23.
Result: Out of the total 500 telephonic contacts who were sent the survey link, 478 had (95.6%) responded. There were 114 (23.8%), 64 (13.4%), 40 (8.4%) and 29 (6.1%) participants who were classified as having mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe depression respectively. Female gender, religion, education status, unemployment and professional occupation, income less than Rs. 20000 and more than Rs. 40000, ‘scare for coronavirus infection’ were found to be significantly associated with severity of depression (p<0.05). Adjusted analysis revealed that age was protective factor where as those who were scared from coronavirus infection were found to be two times more at risk of having symptoms of depression. Increasing family income was also associated with presence of depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: The proportion of participants with depressive symptoms was 51.7%. There is a need for assessing psychosocial impact of COVID-19 among populations and communities in varied settings over a long period of time.
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