Severity of depression, anxiety and stress among the people of Kashmir, India during COVID-19: An observation from tele psychiatric services
AbstractObjective: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health and well-being of millions of people across the globe. This study aimed to assess the severity of depression, anxiety and stress level among persons who sought teleconsultation during the lockdown period in Kashmir, India.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from 21 March to 31 May 2020 in Kashmir, India. A call line was set up for people with mental health concerns and participants who signed up for the service were included in the study. The mental health services were provided by a team via teleconsultation. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) questionnaire was used to assess the severity of distress.
Results: A total of 293 people were interviewed during the teleconsultation service. The mean age was 37.10 (± 10.54) years, the majority had moderate depression, 125 (42.7%), followed by extreme severe depression, 95 (32.4%). The mean depression score on the DASS-21 scale was 13.52 ± 4.13. A total of 276 (94.2%) patients had severe anxiety following lockdown with a mean anxiety score of 14.04 ± 9.23. Also, 96 (32.8%) of people had mild stress with a mean stress score of 12.82 ± 7.32.
Conclusion: The severity of depression, anxiety and stress was high in our study population highlighting the need to provide critical mental health services. Teleconsultations could be an alternative approach to provide such services in areas with public health emergencies and where medical infrastructure is limited.
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