The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and related restrictions on the development of depression in primary care, Latvia

Maija Puce, Vija Siliņa

Keywords: Covid 19 pandemia, mental health depression

Covid-19 pandemic has affected the mental health, causing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and increasing the risk of suicide.

Research questions:
What factors affected the development of depression in primary health care (PHC) patients during Covid-19 pandemic

A quantitative cross sectional research was conducted in PHC center in Latvia including 315 respondents aged 15 and above. Each respondent, completed a questionnaire with PHQ-9 depression self-assessment and anwered closed questions on unemployment, downtime payments, distance learning, distance learning for the kids, number of the people in the household, fear of falling ill with Covid 19, history of chronic disease, agitation caused by the limitation of planned healthcare, organising of work from home, loneliness, and increased workload during the Covid 19 pandemic.
We considered a clinically significant depression at PHQ-9 score >10 points. A binary logistic regression was performed, to estimates relationship beteen probable factors and depression. A multi-factor analysis was used to determinine the most significant risk factors.

The prevalence of depresion was 17,8% (N=56). We found that among significant risk factors for depression were unemployment (OR=5.24, p<0,001), living alone (OR=2.33, p=0,011), loneliness, due by inability to see friends, family (OR=1.87, p=0,004). Agitation caused by limitation of planned healthcare during the Covid 19 pandemic increased chances of developing depression by 2.33 times and fear from getting infected with Covid 19 - by 2.92 times, however in the multi-factor analysis these factors didn’t gain credible significance.(p=0,076 and p=0,078)

Our results imply that unemployment, living alone and loneliness, caused by inability to see friends and family were among the most important risk factors for developing depression during COVID-19 pandemic.

Points for discussion:
menthal health, depression, primary care, Covid 19 pandemia