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Impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among the Libyan population

Published onMay 03, 2022
Impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among the Libyan population
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Impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among the Libyan population
Impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among the Libyan population
Description

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have a potentially serious effect on mental health and increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders in people. In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of psychological illness and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Libyan population’s mental health. Method A cross-sectional survey, conducted in both online and paper modes and consisting of five sections, was completed in more than 30 cities and towns across Libya. The first section consisted of questions on basic demographic characteristics. The second section contained a survey related to the lockdown status, activities, related stress levels, and quarantine. The third section comprised the self-administered 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The fourth section contained the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), and the fifth section contained the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Result Of the 31,557 respondents, 4,280 (13.6%) reported severe depressive symptoms, with a mean [standard deviation (SD)] PHQ-9 score of 8.32 (5.44); 1,767 (5.6%) reported severe anxiety symptoms, with a mean (SD) GAD-7 score of 6 (4.6); and 6,245 (19.8%) of the respondents reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a mean (SD) score of 15.3 (18.85). In multivariate analysis, young age, being female, unmarried, educated, or victims of domestic violence or abuse, work suspension during the pandemic, and having increased workload, financial issues, suicidal thoughts, or a family member with or hospitalized due to COVID-19 were significantly associated with a high likelihood of depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as PTSD. Internal displacement due to civil war was also associated with PTSD. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil war in Libya. Further study on the development of strategies and interventions aimed at reducing the mental disease burden on the Libyan population is warranted.

 

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