Psychological distress, anxiety, family violence, suicidality, and wellbeing in Pakistan during the COVID-19 lockdown: A cross-sectional study

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Background and objectives: The purpose of this study was to draw the attention toward the implications of COVID-19 and the related restrictions imposed worldwide especially in Pakistan. The primary objective was to highlight the levels of psychological distress, anxiety, family violence, suicidality, and well-being due to COVID-19 and the secondary objective was to associate it to social demographic factors.
Materials and methods: It is designed as a cross-sectional study by employing an online questionnaire in the English language and obtaining responses using a snowball sampling technique. We used three validated measures including Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) index and World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5).
Results: A sample of 420 participants was recruited from across Pakistan, with most participants were females (79%), students (89.8%) and belonging to Punjab (54%). Nearly one-fourth of the participants (23.8%) scored above the minimum value set for moderate or high psychological distress (K10 > 12). There was a higher prevalence of distress among females and resident of province Punjab. The majority of individuals reported that they were living with their family (94.5%) and more than half (52.6%) were neutral regarding their satisfaction with their living conditions. 40.5% believed that the lockdown has had a negative impact on their mental health. 31.4% have reported that they themselves have experienced abuse from a family member. 48.6% scored high on the GAD-7 scale and low wellbeing score was found among 80.2%. Students were found to be more vulnerable to mental illness and anxiety.
Conclusion: With the lockdown restrictions, psychosocial distress has become prevalent in Pakistan.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Frontiers in psychology