Psychological distress during early phase of COVID-19 pandemic among Indian adults
Aditya Somani1, Suhas Chandran2, Ashirbad Satapathy3, Ajay Kumar1, Azhar Mahmood Farooqui4, Johnson Pradeep2, Priya Sreedaran2, Debasweta Purkayastha2
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College Hospital, St John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital, Balangir, Odisha, India
4 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Integral Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Dr. Aditya Somani
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur - 492 099, Chhattisgarh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and resultant lockdown are likely to cause a significant negative impact on mental health of people all over the world.
Aim: To assess psychological distress due to COVID-19 pandemic among Indian adults and its possible correlates.
Subjects and Methods: An online survey using nonprobability snowball sampling technique was carried out. The survey included willing adult residents of India with access to internet. Health-care professionals, people with COVID-19 or those with a relative having COVID-19, and those receiving treatment for any psychiatric disorder currently were excluded. Psychological distress was assessed using COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Index (CPDI).
Results: Majority of participants were young (age group, 18–40 years) (71.8%), males (72%), married (69.9%), graduate (51.8%), and semiprofessionals and professionals (56.5%). Majority of the participants did not have family members of age up to 5 years or less (64.8%) or age 60 years and above (61.9%) in their families. There was no COVID-19-positive patient in town or district of majority of participants (53.9%). Based on CPDI score, 22% of the participants had mild psychological distress and 1.6% had severe distress. CPDI score showed a positive correlation with size of family of participants. Other demographic variables did not show any association/correlation with CPDI score.
Conclusions: Nearly a quarter of participants were found to have psychological distress due to COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety and psychological distress might worsen with further worsening of pandemic and downfall of global economy. It is imperative to implement preventive and early intervention measures to safeguard mental health of people.