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vol.11 issue1Clinical and epidemiological behavior of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in a Contingency Hospital for COVID-19 in Paraguay, 2020Mental health of physicians and nurses of Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias y del Ambiente - INERAM "Juan Max Boettner" during the Covid-19 quarantine from July to September 2020 author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista de salud publica del Paraguay

On-line version ISSN 2307-3349

Abstract

TORALES, Julio et al. Anxiety and depression in relation to news about COVID-19: A study in general Paraguayan population. Rev. salud publica Parag. [online]. 2021, vol.11, n.1, pp.67-73. ISSN 2307-3349.  https://doi.org/10.18004/rspp.2021.junio.67.

Introduction:

An increase in the prevalence of psychopathological conditions (anxiety, depression) has been noted after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant flow of information related to the pandemic can contribute to this fact.

Objective:

To determine the presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms and their relationship with news about COVID-19 in the general population.

Methodology:

Descriptive, of cross-association, cross-sectional and prospective study. An online survey was disseminated nationwide through social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and messaging applications (WhatsApp, Telegram). The Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) questionnaire was used to measure anxiety symptoms. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). Descriptive statistics were used for all variables. Student's t-test and ANOVA were used to search for associations.

Results:

1108 people responded (mean age = 35 ± 13 years). The main source of information was Twitter (37.5%). In 88.4% of the participants, the information came from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare or health agencies. Regarding anxiety, 67.9% of the sample obtained at least 1 point on the CAS and the mean score on the scale was 2.89 ± 3.4. According to the cut-off points of the PHQ-2 (Cronbach's alpha = 0.833), 26.1% of the sample obtained scores indicative of depression.

Conclusion:

It has been observed that constant exposure to information regarding COVID-19 can result in higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Keywords : COVID-19; anxiety; depression; news; Paraguay.

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