Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.J Affect Disord. 2020 12 01; 277:379-391.JA
The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic poses a threat to societies' mental health. This study examined the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and identified the factors contributing to psychological impact in the Philippines.
A total of 1879 completed online surveys were gathered from March 28-April 12, 2020. Collected data included socio-demographics, health status, contact history, COVID-19 knowledge and concerns, precautionary measures, information needs, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) ratings.
The IES-R mean score was 19.57 (SD=13.12) while the DASS-21 mean score was 25.94 (SD=20.59). In total, 16.3% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate-to-severe; 16.9% reported moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% had moderate-to-severe anxiety levels; and 13.4% had moderate-to-severe stress levels. Female gender; youth age; single status; students; specific symptoms; recent imposed quarantine; prolonged home-stay; and reports of poor health status, unnecessary worry, concerns for family members, and discrimination were significantly associated with greater psychological impact of the pandemic and higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression (p<0.05). Adequate health information, having grown-up children, perception of good health status and confidence in doctors' abilities were significantly associated with lesser psychological impact of the pandemic and lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression (p<0.05).
An English online survey was used.
During the early phase of the pandemic in the Philippines, one-fourth of respondents reported moderate-to-severe anxiety and one-sixth reported moderate-to-severe depression and psychological impact. The factors identified can be used to devise effective psychological support strategies.