Preliminary results: Women are more likely to be anxious due to Covid 19
Initial findings of an SQU study suggest that women are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An analysis of the preliminary results of a study led by Dr. Hamad Nasser Al-Senawi, Senior Consultant of Behavioral Medicine at SQU Hospital, has shown that 30% of the participants in the survey suffer from either anxiety or depression. Furthermore, people who have undergone financial difficulties and had such a mental condition before the pandemic, as well as those who use drugs, are more likely to experience anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
Dr. Hamad said that his study, “Levels of anxiety and depression and the effectiveness of electronic psychotherapy during the Covid-19 pandemic,” aimed to investigate the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms and identify the groups most vulnerable to suffer from them within a sample of citizens and residents in the Sultanate under the Covid-19 pandemic. It also sought to evaluate the effectiveness of electronic psychotherapy in reducing such symptoms.
He pointed out that the research was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, controlled psychological measures to assess symptoms of anxiety and depression were sent out via email and social media. Some 1538 people participated in the study, 75% of whom were women.
In the second phase, individuals who had symptoms of anxiety and depression were divided into two groups, each having 30 participants. The first group received psychological treatment by a psychologist through an electronic platform in weekly sessions for six weeks, while the second group received self-psychological exercises that were emailed to them weekly for six weeks. After that, researchers re-assessed the presence of anxiety and depression symptoms to verify the effectiveness of both the psychotherapy and psychological exercises in reducing the symptoms.
Al-Senawi hoped that the findings would inform mental health officials about the quality and effectiveness of electronic psychotherapy to alleviate the psychological repercussions of current and future epidemics.
It is worth noting that the study was among SQU’s research projects that won funding from The Research Council’s Covid-19 Research Program.