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Hooyeon Lee 1 Article
Depression, anxiety, and stress in Korean general population during the COVID-19 pandemic
Hooyeon Lee, Dongwoo Choi, Jung Jae Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022018.   Published online January 18, 2022
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of poor mental health in the general Korean population during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
This cross-sectional, population-based, online survey-based study was conducted from November 5 to 20, 2020 and included adults aged 20-49 years in Chungnam Province, Korea. A total of 549 adults were included.
In total, 18.8% of the participants had symptoms of depression, 10.6% had symptoms of anxiety, and 5.1% had a high level of perceived stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher levels of stress (odds ratio [OR], 3.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13 to 8.67), anxiety (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.09 to 4.49), and depression (OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.64 to 5.50) were found among never married, widowed, divorced, and separated people than among married/cohabiting/partnered participants. Participants who felt increased stress at home during the COVID-19 outbreak reported more depression (OR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.49 to 4.05) and anxiety (OR, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.31 to 4.50). Women had higher risks of anxiety (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.09 to 3.58) and stress (OR, 6.40; 95% CI, 2.30 to 17.85) than men. Participants with the highest household income were less likely to report symptoms of stress than those with the lowest household income (OR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.96).
The participants in this study exhibited poor mental health index scores, suggesting that some people are at risk for mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being married was independently and significantly associated with a lower likelihood of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Korean summary
이 연구는 코로나-19 유행 기간 동안 정신건강 현황과 위험 요인을 알아보기 위한 단면연구이다. 코로나 19 유행 이후 가정내 스트레스가 증가했다고 응답한 경우 우울증과 불안감의 유병률이 높았다. 반면, 남성인 경우, 결혼했거나 동거인과 같이 살고 있는 경우에는 우울증, 불안 또는 스트레스의 유병률이 통계적으로 유의하게 낮았다. 마스크 착용하기, 비대면 활동 증가, 또는 사회적 거리두기 등 코로나 19의 유행을 통제하기 위한 많은 정책은 개인의 일상생활과 정신건강에 많은 영향을 미쳤다. 이 연구는 취약 집단을 발굴하고, 정신건강 회복을 위한 전략을 개발하는데 기초자료를 제공할 수 있다.
Key Message
This study revealed high prevalence rates of depression, anxiety, and stress in the general population of Korea aged 20-49 years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants who felt increased stress at home reported more depression and anxiety. Men and being married were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of depression, anxiety, or stress. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic event. In addi­tion, the policies created to prevent its spread have disrupted daily living for the general population. Implement­ing strategies to promote resilience and support psychologically vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 cri­sis is of fundamental importance.


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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health