Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 470-475

Assessment of anxiety and depression symptoms in the Albanian general population during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic


1 Neuroscience Department, Psychiatric Emergency Unit, University Health Clinic “Mother Teresa”, Tirane, Albania
2 Student, Faculty of General Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirane, Albania
3 Neuroscience Department, Psychiatry Unit, University Health Clinic “Mother Teresa”, Tirane, Albania

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fatime Elezi
Manastiri Congress Street, University Health Clinic “Mother Teresa”, Psychiatric Hospital “Xhavit Gjata,” Tirane
Albania
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_842_20

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Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albanian authorities declared mandatory stay-at-home measures, closing businesses, schools, and public places. This study aims to investigate the impact of these immediate changes on the mental well-being of the population. Methodology: Respondents (N = 1678) aged 18–60 years were selected through a convenient sampling method. A questionnaire was administered online for 26 days, where respondents reported the time spent daily in the COVID-19 topic and filled in their generalities, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7. Results: Findings suggest a significant negative correlation between age and anxiety scoring (r(n=1678)= −0.121, P≤ 0.001) and between age and depression scoring (r(n=1678)= −0.232, P≤ 0.001), shown also on the ANOVA test for age and anxiety (F = 6.019, P ≤ 0.05), where younger populations had higher anxiety levels, as well as age and depression (F = 20.326, P ≤ 0.05), where older populations had higher levels of depression. Differences on the level of education resulted in a lower score of anxiety and depression (F = 3.524, P≤ 0.05; F = 7.739, P≤ 0.05, respectively) on respondents with higher education. Those who found themselves jobless from the pandemic scored higher on anxiety and depression (F = 9.760, P≤ 0.05; M = 6.21, ds = 4.686 and F = 16.051, P≤ 0.05; M = 8.18, ds = 5.791, respectively) compared with those who are still working. Significant differences were found on the ANOVA test related to different amounts of time spent daily on the COVID-19 topic for anxiety and depression (F = 25.736, P≤ 0.001; F = 5.936, P≤ 0.003, respectively), with people who spend <1 h scoring higher on depression (M = 7.57, ds = 5.849) and those who spent >3 h scoring higher on anxiety (M = 6.76, ds = 5.60). On the t-test, people on a romantic relationship scored lower levels of depression (t = −4.053, P≤ 0.0001) compared to single individuals, and females scored higher levels of anxiety (t = 12.344, P≤ 0.001) compared to males. Conclusions: Younger participants score higher levels of anxiety and depression. Higher education individuals show lower levels of anxiety and depression. Having a job translates into lower levels of anxiety and depression. People who spent more time on the COVID-19 topic daily have higher levels of anxiety, whereas those who spent less time have higher levels of depression. Being in a romantic relationship relates to lower levels of depression. Females report higher levels of anxiety compared to males.



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