Determinants of anxiety level in patients presenting with the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder during the Covid-19 pandemic process
Seyma Sehlikoglu, Behice Han Almis, Oguzhan Bekir Egilmez
The Covid-19 outbreak has posed a serious threat to people’s mental health as well as their physical health. In recent studies, it is reported that covid-19 is associated with various psychiatric diseases such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and depression. In our study, we aimed to determine the determinants of the level of anxiety related to Covid-19 in patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder during the pandemic process. This study examines the sociodemographic characteristics of 226 participants who were diagnosed with ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder’, the presence of covid-19 diagnosis, the duration of social media exposure, and the relationship between coronavirus-associated anxiety levels and the participant’s anxiety levels, prospectively. We applied Sociodemographic data form, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Disorders-Clinician Version (SCID-5 / CV), Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A) and Coronavirus anxiety scales (CAS). 86 (38.1%) of the cases were male and 140 (61.9%) were female. It is also revealed 31 (51.7%) of the cases with a past history of psychiatric illness had anxiety disorder. It was seen that the significant relationship between the duration of social media exposure and HAM-A score (Î·2 = 0.047, F (3.222) = 3.661, p = 0.013). Coronavirus-related anxiety was observed in 63 cases (27.9%). The CAS scores of the female participants (5.84 ± 6.73) were higher than that of the male participants (4.41 ± 6.23), and a statistically weakly significant relationship was found between them (Z = -1.656, p = 0.098). There was a positive correlation between HAM-A and CAS scores (r = 0.402, p < 0.001). We found that women, participants with no monthly income, and people who were exposed to social media for longer periods had higher levels of coronavirus-related anxiety. It was concluded that as the duration of social media exposure or the severity of anxiety increased, the level of coronavirus-related anxiety increased.
Key words: Covid-19, generalized anxiety disorder, coronavirus anxiety scale