With the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent changes, such as the closure of high-risk jobs, creation of emergency levels of public health, and home quarantine, the mental health of people, was severely affected. In this regard, the present study aimed to assess the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.
This descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study was conducted in 2020 in Kerman. The study sample consisted of 500 cases who were selected via the available sampling method. Due to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, data was collected through online questionnaires shared on WhatsApp and Telegram (including the general population living in different parts of Kerman. To assess mental health, the 12-Item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used, the validity and reliability of which have been confirmed in various studies (Cronbach's alpha of 0.8). Factors affecting mental health status included demographic information (including age, gender, education, occupation, marital status, and income) and questions about media use status. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS software (Version 23) using independent t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and logistic regression.
The mean age of the subjects was reported as 34.94 years, and 58.6% of the subjects did not have good mental health status. Moreover, 88.8 % of participants followed COVID-19 news through social media. The results of one-way ANOVA indicated that mental health scores were different in different groups of age, education, occupation, and income (P<0.05). Furthermore, in logistic regression analysis, the factors affecting mental health, education, and life satisfaction were significant, indicating a better mental health chance in people with higher-level education and higher life satisfaction (P<0.05).
As evidenced by the obtained results, the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems. Therefore, it is suggested to develop mental health support programs and psychological interventions.
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