ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0207.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: Social Anxiety Disorder; Social Phobia, Online Survey; Adult, Oman; Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale
Online: 8 August 2020 (09:39:49 CEST)
Background: Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is among the most common anxiety disorders worldwide with data largely emerging from the Euro-American and Pacific Rim populations. In contrast, there is a dearth of studies among the populations of Arabian Gulf countries including Oman. This study has two interrelated aims: (i) to explore the prevalence of SAD among Omani adults, and (ii) to tease out the links between sociodemographic factors and SAD in Oman. Methods: A cross-sectional study via an online survey was conducted among 1019 adult Omani nationals residing in Oman. The presence of SAD was assessed using the Arabic version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). Result: Nearly half the participants (45.9%, n=468) endorsed themselves as having features of SAD as defined by LSAS. In the multivariate logistic analysis, participants below 40 years of age were 1.6 times (OR=1.568, p=0.026) more likely to have SAD than those who were 40 and older. Women were 1.3 times (OR=1.348, p=0.038) more likely to endorse SAD than men. Participants who had secondary or undergraduate education were respectively 1.5 times (OR=1.45, p=0.014) and 2.5 times (OR=2.509, p<.001) to have SAD than who were postgraduates. Conclusion: The present data suggest that 45.9% of the participants reached the cut-off for case-ness in LSAS, which is high compared to reports from other populations. As online survey respondents tend to belong to similar demographics, the current results need not be representative of the Omani adult population, which calls for studies that adopt more inclusive survey methods.