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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 362-370

Immediate anxiety and depression disorders during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic among the general population in Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria
2 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
4 Department of Mental Health, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Sunday O Olarewaju
Department of Community Medicine, Osun State University, Osogbo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.ijmh_18_22

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Background: During the initial stage of Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria, the government took drastic steps in controlling it; this included a total lockdown which left many with fears and worries about their health and household economy. The mental health of people in the society was becoming an issue that cannot be ignored. There was a dearth of information on the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of the general population. Objectives: This study was therefore conducted to explore the prevalence of immediate anxiety and depression disorders and to identify associated factors during the initial stage of Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in 2020 and was cross-sectional analytical in design. The study population included Nigerians above the age of 18 years. A total of 305 people participated in the study. Data were collected using a structured electronic questionnaire and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 25. Based on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), respondents were categorized into normal, having borderline, or having psychological disorders (anxiety or depression). Results: The median age of respondents was 30 years (interquartile range 23, 41.5). Three hundred and four respondents were aware of Covid-19. One hundred and twenty-five (41.0%) were assessed to be normal during the initial stage of Covid-19 in Nigeria, 44 (14.4%) had borderline psychological disorder, and 136 (44.6%) had either anxiety or depression. Respondents with occupation classified as others were found to be 52.1% times less likely to have anxiety or depression disorders when compared with civil servants (P = 0.045; 95% confidence interval = 0.23 - 0.99). Conclusion: Our study shows that anxiety and depression were widespread during the initial stage of Covid-19 outbreak. Mental health services would be essential in taking care of the psychological needs of Nigerians, especially those who have experienced and survived the scourge of the pandemic.

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