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COVID-19: Factors associated with psychological distress, fear, and coping strategies among community members across 17 countries

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posted on 05.11.2021, 01:22 by Muhammad RahmanMuhammad Rahman, SMS Islam, P Tungpunkom, F Sultana, SM Alif, B Banik, M Salehin, B Joseph, L Lam, MC Watts, SJ Khan, S Ghozy, SY Chair, WT Chien, C Schönfeldt-Lecuona, N El-Khazragy, I Mahmud, AH Al Mawali, TS Al Maskari, Rayan Jafnan M AlharbiRayan Jafnan M Alharbi, A Hamza, MA Keblawi, M Hammoud, AM Elaidy, AD Susanto, AS Bahar Moni, AA AlQurashi, A Ali, A Wazib, CS Sanluang, DH Elsori, F Yasmin, FF Taufik, M Al Kloub, MG Ruiz, M Elsayed, NK Eltewacy, N Al Laham, N Oli, R Abdelnaby, R Dweik, R Thongyu, S Almustanyir, S Rahman, S Nitayawan, S Al-Madhoun, S Inthong, TA Alharbi, T Bahar, TT Ginting, WM Cross
Background: The current pandemic of COVID-19 impacted the psychological wellbeing of populations globally. Objectives: We aimed to examine the extent and identify factors associated with psychological distress, fear of COVID-19 and coping. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study across 17 countries during Jun-2020 to Jan-2021. Levels of psychological distress (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale), fear of COVID-19 (Fear of COVID-19 Scale), and coping (Brief Resilient Coping Scale) were assessed. Results: A total of 8,559 people participated; mean age (±SD) was 33(±13) years, 64% were females and 40% self-identified as frontline workers. More than two-thirds (69%) experienced moderate-to-very high levels of psychological distress, which was 46% in Thailand and 91% in Egypt. A quarter (24%) had high levels of fear of COVID-19, which was as low as 9% in Libya and as high as 38% in Bangladesh. More than half (57%) exhibited medium to high resilient coping; the lowest prevalence (3%) was reported in Australia and the highest (72%) in Syria. Being female (AOR 1.31 [95% CIs 1.09-1.57]), perceived distress due to change of employment status (1.56 [1.29-1.90]), comorbidity with mental health conditions (3.02 [1.20-7.60]) were associated with higher levels of psychological distress and fear. Doctors had higher psychological distress (1.43 [1.04-1.97]), but low levels of fear of COVID-19 (0.55 [0.41-0.76]); nurses had medium to high resilient coping (1.30 [1.03-1.65]). Conclusions: The extent of psychological distress, fear of COVID-19 and coping varied by country; however, we identified few higher risk groups who were more vulnerable than others. There is an urgent need to prioritise health and well-being of those people through well-designed intervention that may need to be tailored to meet country specific requirements.

History

Publication Date

01/10/2021

Journal

Globalization and Health

Volume

17

Article Number

117

Pagination

19p.

Publisher

BMC

ISSN

1744-8603

Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2021 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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