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In Frontiers in psychiatry

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the psychological stability of general population of Pakistan. However, research on the severity of COVID-19 induced depression, anxiety, and stress (DAS) in Pakistan is scarce. This paper thereby investigates the severity of COVID-19 induced DAS based on demographic, socioeconomic, and personal feeling variables by modeling DAS. Snowball sampling strategy was adopted to conduct online survey from July 03, 2021 to July 09, 2021. Out of 2,442, 2,069 responses from Karachi were included. Descriptive and inferential statistics (binary and multinomial logistic regression analysis) were performed using SPSS V21 (IBM, 2013) to identify significant determinants and their association with DAS severity. The result of this study indicates 27.8, 21.7, and 18.3% respondents suffer from severe and extremely severe states of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. Binary logistic regression revealed that age is a significant determinant with odds of having 4.72 (95% CI = 1.86-11.97) and 5.86 (95% CI = 2.26-15.2) times greater depression, and stress for respondents aged 19-26 years. Moreover, gender-based difference is also observed with females 1.34 (95% CI = 1.08-1.68) and 1.75 (95% CI = 1.40-2.20) times more likely to exhibit anxiety and stress than males. Furthermore, marital status is a significant determinant of depression with odds of having depression is 0.67 (95% CI = 0.48-0.93) times greater for married population. Multinomial logistic regression revealed that those who believe COVID-19 pandemic has affected them mentally, fear new COVID-19 cases and deaths, depressed due to imposition of lockdown, believe they will not survive COVID-19 infection, and spend more time on social media gathering COVID-19 updates suffer from extremely severe state of depression (OR mental-effect-of-pandemic = 3.70, OR new-COVID-19-cases-and-deaths = 2.20, OR imposition-of-lockdown = 17.77, OR survival-probability = 8.17, OR time-on-social-media = 9.01), anxiety (OR mental-effect-of-pandemic = 4.78, OR new-COVID-19-cases-and-deaths = 3.52, OR imposition-of-lockdown = 5.06, OR survival-probability = 8.86, OR time-on-social-media = 5.12) and stress (OR mental-effect-of-pandemic = 6.07, OR imposition-of-lockdown = 11.38, OR survival-probability = 15.66, OR time-on-social-media = 4.39). Information regarding DAS severity will serve as a platform for research centers and psychological clinics, to work collectively and provide technology-based treatment to reduce the burden on the limited number of psychologist and psychotherapist.

Shahid Hira, Hasan Muhammad Abul, Ejaz Osama, Khan Hashim Raza, Idrees Muhammad, Ashraf Mishal, Aftab Sobia, Qazi Saad Ahmed


COVID-19, anxiety, depression, mental health, stress