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1.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0267426, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817496

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have a potentially serious effect on mental health and increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders in people. In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of psychological illness and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Libyan population's mental health. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey, conducted in both online and paper modes and consisting of five sections, was completed in more than 30 cities and towns across Libya. The first section consisted of questions on basic demographic characteristics. The second section contained a survey related to the lockdown status, activities, related stress levels, and quarantine. The third section comprised the self-administered 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The fourth section contained the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), and the fifth section contained the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). RESULT: Of the 31,557 respondents, 4,280 (13.6%) reported severe depressive symptoms, with a mean [standard deviation (SD)] PHQ-9 score of 8.32 (5.44); 1,767 (5.6%) reported severe anxiety symptoms, with a mean (SD) GAD-7 score of 6 (4.6); and 6,245 (19.8%) of the respondents reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a mean (SD) score of 15.3 (18.85). In multivariate analysis, young age, being female, unmarried, educated, or victims of domestic violence or abuse, work suspension during the pandemic, and having increased workload, financial issues, suicidal thoughts, or a family member with or hospitalized due to COVID-19 were significantly associated with a high likelihood of depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as PTSD. Internal displacement due to civil war was also associated with PTSD. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil war in Libya. Further study on the development of strategies and interventions aimed at reducing the mental disease burden on the Libyan population is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Libya/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics
2.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 955, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238715

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study determined the knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding COVID-19 and assessed the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine among healthcare workers and the general population. METHODS: A web-based, cross-sectional study was conducted using convenience sampling in Libya from December 1 to 18, 2020 among the general population and healthcare workers. Data on demographic characteristics, COVID-19 vaccination-related concerns, knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding COVID-19, and knowledge, attitudes, and acceptance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine were collected using a self-administered survey. A binomial logistic regression was performed with 70% efficacy to determine the association between acceptance of the vaccine and study variables. RESULTS: Valid and complete responses were collected from 15,087 participants. Of these, 6227 (41.3%) were male and 8860 (58.7%) were female, with a mean (SD) age of 30.6 ± 9.8 years. Moreover, 485 (3.2%) participants were infected with COVID-19 at the time of the study, while 2000 (13.3%) had been previously infected. Overall, 2452 (16.3%) participants agreed, and 3127 (20.7%) strongly agreed, with "having concerns about serious vaccine-related complications." Mask-wearing adherence was reported by 10,268 (68.1%) of the participants. Most participants (14,050, 93.1%) believed that the vaccine should be provided for free, while 7272 (48.2%) were willing to buy it. Regarding vaccine acceptance and efficacy, 12,006 (79.6%) reported their willingness to take the vaccine with an efficacy of 90% or more, 9143 (60.6%) with an efficacy of 70% or more, and only 6212 (41.2%) with an efficacy of 50%. The binomial logistic regression revealed that vaccine acceptance was not associated with belonging to the medical field versus the general population. Acceptance was statistically associated with younger age groups, especially 31-40 (OR = 1.3 [1.09, 1.55]) and 41-50 years (OR = 1.29, [1.09, 1.54]). However, having a family member or friend infected with COVID-19 was positively associated with the likelihood of vaccine acceptance (OR = 1.09 [1.02, 1.18]), while having a friend or family member who died due to COVID-19 was negatively associated with it (OR = 0.89 [0.84, 0.97]). CONCLUSIONS: Acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine is an essential determinant of vaccine uptake and the likelihood of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing strategies to decrease public hesitation and increase trust is vital for implementing vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Humans , Libya , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
3.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 632496, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191703

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the risk of suicide, uncertainty, mental stress, terror, annoyance, weariness, financial issues, and frustration. We aim to determine the prevalence of insomnia, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and their associated factors among Libyan populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil war. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among the Libyan population between July 18 and August 23, 2020. The data collected included basic demographic characteristics, level of education, employment status, COVID-19-related questions, and questions about abuse and domestic violence. This study assessed the psychological status of participants who were screened for anxiety symptoms using the seven-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7). Depressive symptoms were also screened for using the two-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Binomial logistic regression was used to predict the probability of insomnia, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results: A total of 10,296 responses were recorded. Among the participants, 4,756 (46.2%) obtained a cut-off score of ≥ 3 which indicated depressive symptoms. For anxiety, 1,952 participants (19%) obtained a cut-off score of ≥ 15, which indicated anxiety symptoms. For the ISI, the mean (SD) was 11.4 (6.1) for the following categories: no clinical insomnia (0-7) 3,132 (30.4%), sub-threshold insomnia (1-7) 3,747 (36.4%), moderate severity clinical insomnia (8-14) 2,929 (28.4%), and severe clinical insomnia (15-21) 488 (4.7%). Logistic regression analysis showed that depressive symptoms were statistically associated with age, marital status, education level, occupational category, financial problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, health status, having a COVID-19 infection, current health status, suicide ideation, abuse or domestic violence, and lockdown compliance (p < 0.05). The regression analysis revealed a statistically significant association between anxiety symptoms and age, education level, occupational status, financial problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, having a COVID-19 infection, health status, suicide ideation, abuse or domestic violence, and lockdown compliance (p < 0.05). The regression analysis revealed a statistically significant association between insomnia and all study variables with the exception of age, educational level, and occupational status (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Confronted with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Libyan population exhibited high levels of psychological stress manifested in the form of depressive and anxiety symptoms, while one-third of the Libyan population suffered from clinical insomnia. Policymakers need to promote effective measures to reduce mental health issues and improve people's quality of life during the civil war and the COVID-19 pandemic.

4.
Front Psychol ; 12: 605279, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140659

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to provide an overview of the psychological status and behavioral consequences of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the Libyan population through May and June 2020 in more than 20 cities. The survey comprised basic demographic data of the participants and anxiety symptoms measured using the seven-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) with ≥15 as the cut-off score for clinically significant anxiety symptoms. Additionally, a survey regarding the lockdown effect was administered, which consisted of several parts, to measure the lockdown status. RESULTS: A total of 8084 responses were recorded, of which, 5090 (63%) were women and 2994 (37%) were men. The mean age (SD) for study participants was 27.2 (8.9) years. Among the participants, 1145 (14.2%) reached the cut-off score to detect anxiety symptoms; however, of the study variables, only five were predictors of clinically significant anxiety: age, gender, marital status, work status, being a financial supporter for the family, and being infected with COVID-19. Women had 1.19 times higher odds to exhibit anxiety symptoms than men. Increasing age was significantly associated with reduced likelihood of exhibiting anxiety symptoms, whereas being married was significantly associated with higher likelihood of anxiety symptoms, compared to not being married. Being suspended from work was associated with an increase in the likelihood of anxiety symptoms. However, we found that being infected with COVID-19 was associated with a 9.59 times higher risk of exhibiting severe anxiety symptoms. Among the study participants, 1451 (17.9%) reported a physical and/or verbal abuse episode from family members, 958 (11.9%) reported abuse outside the family, and 641 (7.9%) reported abuse from enforcers, during the lockdown. CONCLUSION: Our study provided an overview of the psychological and behavioral status, among those who resided in Libya during the civil war and COVID-19 pandemic. The study demonstrates a concerningly high level of clinically significant anxiety during lockdown among the Libyan population during Libya's lockdown period.

5.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 153(3): 554-555, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092526
6.
JMIR Med Inform ; 9(2): e23335, 2021 Feb 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090467

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care systems in transitional countries have witnessed unprecedented challenges related to adequate and continuous health care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many countries, including Libya, institutions and organizations have begun to implement telehealth technology for the first time. This serves to establish an alternative modality for direct physician-patient interviews to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the usability of telehealth services in Libya and to provide an overview of the current COVID-19 scenario. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, an anonymous web-based survey was administered to Libyan residents between April and May 2020. Participants were contacted through text messaging, emails, and social media. The survey items yielded information on the sociodemographic characteristics, availability and accessibility of health care services, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care services, mental health status, and the feasibility and application of the telehealth system. RESULTS: We obtained 2512 valid responses, of which 1721 (68.5%) were from females. The participants were aged 28.2 (SD 7.6) years, of whom 2333 (92.9%) were aged <40 years, and 1463 (58.2%) were single. Regarding the health care services and their accessibility, 786 (31.1%) participants reported having a poor health status in general, and 492 (19.6%) reported having a confirmed diagnosis of at least one chronic disease. Furthermore, 498 (19.9%) participants reported varying degrees of difficulty in accessing health care centers, and 1558 (62.0%) could not access their medical records. Additionally, 1546 (61.6%) participants experienced problems in covering medical costs, and 1429 (56.9%) avoided seeking medical care owing to financial concerns. Regarding the feasibility of the telehealth system, approximately half of the participants reported that telehealth services were useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 1545 (61.5%) reported that the system was an effective means of communication and of obtaining health care services. Furthermore, 1435 (57.1%) participants felt comfortable using the telehealth system, and 1129 (44.9%) felt that they were able to express themselves effectively. Moreover, 1389 (55.3%) participants found the system easy to understand, and 1354 (53.9%) reported having excellent communication with physicians through the telehealth system. However, only 1018 (40.5%) participants reported that communication was better with the telehealth system than with traditional methods. CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed high levels of usability and willingness to use the telemedicine system as an alternative modality to in-person consultations among the Libyan residents in this study. This system is advantageous because it helps overcome health care costs, increases access to prompt medical care and follow-up evaluation, and reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, internet connectivity and electricity issues could be a substantial barrier for many resource-limited communities, and further studies should address such obstacles.

7.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0242905, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945354

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in medical education and healthcare systems worldwide. The disease can cause life-threatening conditions and it presents challenges for medical education, as instructors must deliver lectures safely, while ensuring the integrity and continuity of the medical education process. It is therefore important to assess the usability of online learning methods, and to determine their feasibility and adequacy for medical students. We aimed to provide an overview of the situation experienced by medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of medical students regarding electronic medical education. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with medical students from more than 13 medical schools in Libya. A paper-based and online survey was conducted using email and social media. The survey requested demographic and socioeconomic information, as well as information related to medical online learning and electronic devices; medical education status during the COVID-19 pandemic; mental health assessments; and e-learning knowledge, attitudes, and practices. A total of 3,348 valid questionnaires were retrieved. Most respondents (64.7%) disagreed that e-learning could be implemented easily in Libya. While 54.1% of the respondents agreed that interactive discussion is achievable by means of e-learning. However, only 21.1% agreed that e-learning could be used for clinical aspects, as compared with 54.8% who disagreed with this statement and 24% who were neutral. Only 27.7% of the respondents had participated in online medical educational programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 65% reported using the internet for participating in study groups and discussions. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet. As such, the pandemic will undeniably continue to disrupt medical education and training. As we face the prospect of a second wave of virus transmission, we must take certain measures and make changes to minimize the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on medical education and on the progression of training. The time for change is now, and there should be support and enthusiasm for providing valid solutions to reduce this disruption, such as online training and virtual clinical experience. These measures could then be followed by hands-on experience that is provided in a safe environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students, Medical/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Learning , Libya/epidemiology , Male , Quarantine/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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