Psychological Distress among Residents in Nigeria during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Main Article Content

Chisom Adaobi Nri-Ezedi
Chioma Phyllis Nnamani
Nonye Ijeoma Ezeh
Chioma Okechukwu
Oluwatoyin Fasesan
Thomas Obiajulu Ulasi

Abstract

Background: During an epidemic, an associated rise in mental health concerns is usually observed. The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on mental health of adults residing in Nigeria is unknown. The current study attempts to determine the prevalence of psychological distress among adult residents in Nigeria and explore any potential risk factors.

Methodology: An online survey developed with Google form was distributed to willing respondents using social media platforms between the time period of 24th of April to 30th of May 2020. Kessler psychological distress scale was used to assess for prevalence of mental health morbidity.

Results: Overall, 815 adults responded to the survey, of which 344 (42.2%) were males and 471 (57.8%) females with a Male: Female ratio of 1:1.4. Overall, the top 3 sources of information on facts concerning COVID-19 were television (28.1%), WhatsApp (16.5%) and health care providers (14.3%), while the least source of information was the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) (0.8%). 47.3% of the respondents had psychological distress: medium risk (41.4%) and high risk (5.9%). Significant predictors include age, occupation, income, working status, and perception of how likely the respondent believe that he or she can be infected with the disease.

Conclusion: A high prevalence of psychological distress was detected among adults living in Nigeria. This calls for an urgent review of the existing national protocol on the management of COVID-19 to include strategies and programs that will promptly detect and address the mental health needs of at-risk populations.

Keywords:
COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, mental health, Nigeria, adults, psychological distress, stress, Kessler, social media, lockdown.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nri-Ezedi, C. A., Nnamani, C. P., Ezeh, N. I., Okechukwu, C., Fasesan, O., & Ulasi, T. O. (2020). Psychological Distress among Residents in Nigeria during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, 14(3), 8-21. https://doi.org/10.9734/indj/2020/v14i330129
Section
Original Research Article

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