Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2020 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

An online cross-sectional study of the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 lockdown on general population of Haryana, India.

Srivastava P, Madan A, Chahal S, Aggarwal A.

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has not only posed serious medical challenges but also significant psychological, social, and economic challenges acutely as well as in the long-term. There is evidence that this pandemic has caused intense psychological distress among people which is further likely to get compounded by administrative decision of nationwide lockdown. Aim: To determine the psychosocial impact of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic on the general population of Haryana, India. Method: It was an online cross-sectional study conducted on the general population of Haryana from 15th April to 5th May 2020 using a snowball sampling technique. A pre-tested, self-designed questionnaire comprising three sections, viz. sociodemographic characteristics, general life during lockdown, and psychological impact, was prepared using google forms and the link was sent to the participants through social media. Results: A total of 640 participants responded to the survey within the stipulated time. The most common depressive symptoms were insomnia (56%) followed by hopelessness (45%) and irritability (36%). Hypochondriacal preoccupation and obsessional ruminations were present in 87% and 23% of the respondents respectively. Twenty seven per cent of the people experienced autonomic symptoms of anxiety. Fear of death due to COVID (68.4%) and excessive COVID-related information being circulated through news and social media (26.2%) generated maximum stress. They coped with this stress by engaging themselves with television (TV)/social media (57%) and physical exercises (48.4%). Social life followed by professional life was the most affected facet of life. Lockdown had adversely affected the family bond in one per cent of the participants. Conclusion: The study concludes that lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse psychosocial impact on the general population of Haryana resulting in a magnitude of psychological issues.

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