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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-33

Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of general population in India

1 Department of Physiology, Gayatri Vidya Parishad Institute of Healthcare and Medical Technology, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530048, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Gayatri Vidya Parishad Institute of Healthcare and Medical Technology, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530048, India
3 Department of General Medicine, Government Medical College, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh 532001, India

Correspondence Address:
Suryaveeramani Kartheek Adhikarla
D. No. 14-413, Sri Manikanta Nilayam, Near Naidu Cheruvu Gattu, Gujarathipeta, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh 532005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajoim.ajoim_2_22

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Background: COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge to mental health. The perception of stress and its adaptation are determined by individual’s risk perception and coping mechanisms. Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the perceived stress and behavioral responses owing to COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: The online survey recruited 621 respondents. The survey included (1) sociodemographic variables, (2) Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)-10 item inventory, (3) four items on experience of stress, and (4) eight items on mental health-related lifestyle changes and societal support during the pandemic. Results: Out of 621, majority were females (54.1%) and belonged to the age group of 18–30 years (66.02%). Moderate perceived stress was observed in 67.1% of the respondents. The mean PSS scores were significantly higher among females, age group of 18–30 years, unmarried, educational qualification below undergraduation, and students. Higher perception of work and financial stress were present in 52.67% and 48.3%, respectively. Increased concern about family and vulnerability was confirmed by 89.05% and 54.59%, respectively. Increased work stress was negatively associated with attention toward mental health, emotional support, physical activity, and hobbies. Greater concern for family and vulnerability had showed positive association with attention toward mental health, emotional support, and protective behavior. Conclusion: In COVID-19 pandemic, females, younger age, and students had significantly higher stress perception. Work and financial stress were associated with maladaptive responses, whereas concern about family and feeling vulnerable were accompanied by positive adaptive responses. Thus, evaluating the cognitive and behavioral responses to stressors is imperative to quantify individual’s stress perception during exposure to a stressful situation such as pandemic.

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