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Factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

Rahman, Muhammad Aziz, Hoque, Nazmul, Alif, Sheikh M, Salehin, Masudus, Shariful Islam, Sheikh Mohammad, Banik, Biswajit, Sharif, Ahmed, Nazim, Nashrin Binte, Sultana, Farhana and Cross, Wendy 2020, Factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, Globalization and health, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1186/s12992-020-00624-w.

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Title Factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia
Author(s) Rahman, Muhammad AzizORCID iD for Rahman, Muhammad Aziz orcid.org/0000-0003-1665-7966
Hoque, Nazmul
Alif, Sheikh M
Salehin, Masudus
Shariful Islam, Sheikh MohammadORCID iD for Shariful Islam, Sheikh Mohammad orcid.org/0000-0001-7926-9368
Banik, Biswajit
Sharif, Ahmed
Nazim, Nashrin Binte
Sultana, Farhana
Cross, Wendy
Journal name Globalization and health
Volume number 16
Issue number 1
Article ID 95
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 1744-8603
1744-8603
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
COVID-19
Coronavirus
Mental health
Psychological distress
Coping
Resilience
Summary Background The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the personal, professional and social life of Australians with some people more impacted than others. Objectives This study aimed to identify factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. Methods A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among residents in Australia, including patients, frontline health and other essential service workers, and community members during June 2020. Psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10); level of fear was assessed using the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S); and coping strategies were assessed using the Brief Resilient Coping Scale (BRCS). Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with the extent of psychological distress, level of fear and coping strategies while adjusting for potential confounders. Results Among 587 participants, the majority (391, 73.2%) were 30–59 years old and female (363, 61.8%). More than half (349, 59.5%) were born outside Australia and two-third (418, 71.5%) completed at least a Bachelor’s degree. The majority (401, 71.5%) had a source of income, 243 (42.3%) self-identified as a frontline worker, and 335 (58.9%) reported financial impact due to COVID-19. Comorbidities such as pre-existing mental health conditions (AOR 3.13, 95% CIs 1.12–8.75), increased smoking (8.66, 1.08–69.1) and alcohol drinking (2.39, 1.05–5.47) over the last four weeks, high levels of fear (2.93, 1.83–4.67) and being female (1.74, 1.15–2.65) were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Perceived distress due to change of employment status (4.14, 1.39–12.4), alcohol drinking (3.64, 1.54–8.58), providing care to known or suspected cases (3.64, 1.54–8.58), being female (1.56, 1.00–2.45), being 30–59 years old (2.29, 1.21–4.35) and having medium to high levels of psychological distress (2.90, 1.82–5.62) were associated with a higher level of fear; while healthcare service use in the last four weeks was associated with medium to high resilience.Conclusions This study identified individuals who were at higher risk of distress and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic specifically in the State of Victoria, Australia. Specific interventions to support the mental wellbeing of these individuals should be considered in addition to the existing resources within primary healthcare settings.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12992-020-00624-w
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30143893

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.