Anxiety, Anger and Depression Amongst Low-Income Earners in Southwestern Uganda During the COVID-19 Total Lockdown

Victor Archibong, Ibe Michael Usman, Keneth Kasozi, Eric Osamudiamwen Aigbogun, Josiah Ifie, Ann Monima Lemuel, Robinson Ssebuufu, Gaudencia Chekwech, Swase Dominic Terkimbi, Okon Owoisinke, Ngala Elvis Mbiydzenyuy, Azeez Adeoye, Joshua Ojodale Aruwa, Adam Moyosore Afodun, Saidi Odoma, Fred Ssempijja, Emmanuel Tiyo Ayikobua, John Tabakwot Ayuba, Viola Nankya, Comfort OnonghaSussan Henry, Kevin Matama, Helen Yusuf, Halima Nalugo, Ewan T MacLeod, Susan C Welburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Low-income earners are particularly vulnerable to mental health, consequence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions, due to a temporary or permanent loss of income and livelihood, coupled with government-enforced measures of social distancing. This study evaluates the mental health status among low-income earners in southwestern Uganda during the first total COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken amongst earners whose income falls below the poverty threshold. Two hundred and fifty-three (n = 253) male and female low-income earners between the ages of 18 and 60 years of age were recruited to the study. Modified generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7), Spielberger's State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAXI-2), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) tools as appropriate were used to assess anxiety, anger, and depression respectively among our respondents.

Results: Severe anxiety (68.8%) followed by moderate depression (60.5%) and moderate anger (56.9%) were the most common mental health challenges experienced by low-income earners in Bushenyi district. Awareness of mental healthcare increased with the age of respondents in both males and females. A linear relationship was observed with age and depression (r = 0.154, P = 0.014) while positive correlations were observed between anxiety and anger (r = 0.254, P < 0.001); anxiety and depression (r = 0.153, P = 0.015) and anger and depression (r = 0.153, P = 0.015).

Conclusion: The study shows the importance of mental health awareness in low resource settings during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Females were identified as persons at risk to mental depression, while anger was highest amongst young males.
Original languageEnglish
Article number590458
JournalFrontiers in public health
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021


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