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.


© 2021 Archibong, Usman, Kasozi, Aigbogun, Josiah, Monima, Ssebuufu, Chekwech, Terkimbi, Owoisinke, Mbiydzenyuy, Adeoye, Aruwa, Afodun, Odoma, Ssempijja, Ayikobua, Ayuba, Nankya, Onongha, Henry, Matama, Yusuf, Nalugo, MacLeod and Welburn. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite as

Archibong, V., Usman, I., Kasozi, K., Aigbogun, E., Ifie, J., Lemuel, A., Ssebuufu, R., Chekwech, G., Terkimbi, S., Owoisinke, O., Mbiydzenyuy, N., Adeoye, A., Aruwa, J., Afodun, A., Odoma, S., Ssempijja, F., Ayikobua, E., Ayuba, J., Nankya, V., Onongha, C., Henry, S., Matama, K., Yusuf, H., Nalugo, H., Macleod, E. & Welburn, S. 2021, 'Anxiety, Anger and Depression Amongst Low-Income Earners in Southwestern Uganda During the COVID-19 Total Lockdown', Frontiers in Public Health, 9, article no: 590458. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.590458

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Last updated: 28 October 2023
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