Measuring the impact of COVID-19 on mental health as a preliminary procedure in primary care provision: A cross-sectional study using COVID-19 anxiety scale.

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It is imperative to acknowledge that COVID-19 poses significant burden on the psychological well-being of people. With implementation of lockdown and measures like quarantine, the mental health of people is affected, and the associated problems may range from depression to suicidal ideation. With this background, the aim of this study was to assess COVID-19 anxiety among general population of the state of Andhra Pradesh.This cross-sectional study assessed the COVID-19 anxiety among the population of Andhra Pradesh using COVID-19 Anxiety Scale (CAS-7), a seven-item validated psychometric instrument which assesses the cognitive, emotional, and physiological dimensions of COVID-19 anxiety, using a semantic differential scale. The final sample constituted 1,346 participants. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 20 software (IBM SPSS statistics for Windows version 20, Armonk, NY, USA).The mean age of the study participants was 36.13 ± 10.2 years, and 55.8% were males. The mean CAS-7 score in this study was found to be 18.9 ± 6.4. The item with highest mean scores was: “How concerned are you when people cough or sneeze because of the fear that you may acquire COVID-19?” No significant differences in CAS-7 scores were found based on gender, educational qualification of the participants, while significant differences were observed based on place of residence, presence of COVID-19 affected individuals in close surroundings, tobacco, and alcohol consumption.The results of this study inform that it is imperative for authorities and health care professionals to focus on the mental health aspect of COVID-19 and arrange for necessary support mechanisms.

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