Impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the Middle East: A cross-sectional study
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Amman, JORDAN
Researcher in Pharmacology and Medical Science, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mersin University, TÜRKİYE
MEU Research Unit, Middle East University, Amman, JORDAN
Department of Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, JORDAN
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Amman, JORDAN
Online publication date: 2023-08-01
Publication date: 2023-11-01
Electron J Gen Med 2023;20(6):em529
This study aimed to shed the light on the relation between the COVID-19 outbreak and mental health, including depression and anxiety in the Middle East.

This is a survey-based study that was conducted online to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the Middle East countries. The survey was uploaded on Google Form platform and was distributed through Facebook and WhatsApp platform.

In this study, 1,281 respondents completed the online survey. Results showed higher percentages of anxiety were diagnosed post-pandemic (38.0%) compared to pre-pandemic (6.8%). Similarly, higher percentages of participants were diagnosed with depression post-pandemic (32.0%) compared with pre-pandemic (5.0%). Also, 43.4% of the participants showed that they always or most of the time felt ‘loss of desire or interest in things. Moreover, many participants (22.4%) always/most of the time felt cramps in their chest and heart as soon as they thought of the pandemic. Finally, logistic regression analysis emphasized that gender and age significantly affected the diagnosis of anxiety and depression following the pandemic (p≤0.005).

This current study highlighted an increase in the diagnosis of anxiety and depression among Middle Eastern following the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings revealed the importance of utilizing health coping or resilience strategies, mental health awareness campaigns, and education programs by the policymakers and stakeholders.

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