IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12559: Depressive, Anxious, and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms Related to Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Sex, COVID-19 Status, and Intervention-Seeking Conditions among the General Population (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Worldwide, three out of four of the general population have reported experiencing violence. Governments should address solutions to violence and its effects on mental health. The study aimed to determine depressive, anxious, and posttraumatic stress symptoms related to the violence experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population. The study was conducted with 18,449 Mexicans of 33 years (SD = 11.00, range = 18–59), with 12,188 (66.10%) being women, 3559 (19.29%) having COVID-19, 2706 (14.67%) seeking psychological care, and 5712 (30.96%) experiencing violence. Subjects completed the Major Depressive Episode (MDE) Checklist, Generalized Anxiety (GA) Scale, and the Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) Checklists (PCL-5) programmed in a WebApp application. We assessed the dimensionality of the scales through the Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), the measurement invariance, and a structural equation model (SEM). In the total sample, 28.10% fulfilled the MDE criteria, and 42.30% had high levels of GA. In the sample of those experiencing violence, 48.40% met the MDE criteria, 61.70% had high GA symptoms, and 50% met the criteria for a PTS disorder. Experiencing violence was associated with GA and severe PTS symptoms when the discomfort had bothered them for over a month since the onset of these symptoms. Subjects who had experienced violence and had mental health symptoms seemed ready for treatment. Further studies will evaluate the effect of remote psychological care to help reduce the treatment gap.