An Observational Study to Assess
Anxiety Disorder among Women
during COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. Sonali Sain,
P 58 H, CIT Road, Sc No VIM, Kolkata-54, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: World Health Organisation (WHO) declared 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infection as a pandemic. Government of India imposed a nationwide lockdown to break the chain of transmission in the community to halt the pandemic. The unprecedented measure led to severe emotional distress among the general population, especially women.
Aim: To assess the burden of anxiety disorder perceived by women during the COVID-19 pandemic and their precipitating factors.
Materials and Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted among the women residing in West Bengal for more than six months and has access to electronic media, internet services, and/or with an account in any social media. The online survey was conducted via electronic communication and the snowball sampling method was used to recruit 980 study participants. An electronic version of a semi-structured questionnaire was developed with a consent form attached to it and the link of the questionnaire was sent through e-mails, WhatsApp, and other social media to the contacts of the researcher. A self-administered questionnaire obtained information regarding socio-demographic features, personal history, past history of chronic morbidity, family history, and anxiety disorder by Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 item (GAD-7) scale. Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression were used as a test of significance. The data was compiled, analysed, and presented.
Results: Around 203 (20.7%) adult women were suffering from reasonable anxiety. Socio-demographic factors like residence, religion, education, and profession were more significantly associated but age, family type, and marital status were not significantly associated. Addiction, chronic morbidity, and experience of recurrent non-specific signs and symptoms had a significant association with reasonable anxiety. The regression model explained that working women had less chance and those with recurrent non-specific symptoms had more chance to suffer from reasonable anxiety.
Conclusion: The study assessed the burden of anxiety disorder faced by women during the pandemic. It has provided further insight into the risk factors associated with it and a personâ€™s vulnerability to anxiety disorder. Thus, it helped in developing targeted intervention strategies for the vulnerable segment of the population.