Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health studies; depression; anxiety; emotional distress; HADS; GDS; Health Centre
Objective: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the mental health of Cypriot citizens, living in the current difficult period of economic recession. Specific objective was to investigate the different factors (gender, age, socio-economic factors, etc.) that may affect the levels of emotional distress, anxiety and depression in visitors of the Rural Health Centre of Kofinou. Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of total 300 Cypriots who visited Kofinou Health Centre in the period between August and September 2015. For the middle-aged citizens the Greek version of the HADS scale (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale) was administered to 150 persons (Michopoulos I., 2007), while for the visiting senior citizens (aged over 65 years) the Greek version of the GDS scale (Geriatric Depression Scale) was used (Fountoulakis K., et al., 1999). All analyses were performed with the social science analysis package SPSS (version 21). Results: HADS: A total of 150 people of average age 47±11,5 years (23-64), were 56% women, while the 77.3% stated they had drastic reduction of income as well as 46.7% suffered from chronic disease. The 36.6% and 28.7% of the visitors showed moderate and severe forms of anxiety and depression, accordingly. Higher emotional distress is associated with lower educational level (p<0,001). Moreover, patients with low income have higher levels of anxiety (p=0,003), depression (p=0,036) and total emotional distress (p=0,007), while those with chronic disease have a higher stress (p<0,001), depression (p<0,001) and total emotional distress symptoms (p<0,001) compared to non - patients. GDS: 150 patients out of which 77 were women (51.3%). The average age of participants was 72±5,5 years. 93(62%) participants declared a drastic reduction of income due to the financial crisis while 139 (92.7%) stated they had chronic disease. 53 participants (35.3%) think they have symptoms of depression after the economic crisis. The women showed higher level of geriatric depression symptoms than men (p<0.001). Higher levels of depression is associated with lower income (p=0.001). Conclusions: The study shows that stress levels, depression and emotional distress are increased in specific population groups. The main factors affecting the mental health of the participants are the presence of chronic disease, income and level of education.