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The COVID-19 epidemic has had a significant impact on the mental health,
social interactions, and professional lives of millions of individuals throughout the
globe. The study’s goal was to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic and its related
variables affect the mental health of Malaysians, namely their anxiety, dread, and
coping techniques. Many people’s lives have been affected by the worldwide
COVID-19 epidemic. We wanted to see whether there was a correlation between the
pandemic and a decrease in mental health among people in the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA) area.(Tranquilli, 2020). The MENA region’s online questionnaire was
completed by 6142 persons in 18 countries during May and June of 2020. The Effect of
Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) was used to gauge the psychological impact, while the
Perceived Support Scale was used to gauge the support received from friends and
family (PSS).
While only 29.3% of respondents reported moderate or severe psychological
effects, the IES-R mean score was 29.3 (SD = 14.8). COVID-19 frightened, scared, and
powerless the vast majority of participants (45%–62%). There was also an increase in
stress due to employment and financial issues. Higher IES-R scores were seen among
females, participants between the ages of 26 and 35, those with lower Covid-19levels,
and those from North Africa (p 0.005). Since the epidemic began, 40.5 percent of those
polled said they were paying more attention to their mental health, while more than 40
percent of those polled said they were spending more time relaxing(Davidson &
Harrington, 2021)..
The COVID-19 pandemic had a slight psychological effect on adults in the
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area, but it also had a good influence on family
support and mental health awareness. Vulnerable populations like women and young
adults should be the focus of clinical treatments. The 2019 Corona Virus Disease
(COVID-19) has had a wide-ranging psychological and economic effect because of its
high infective and death rates. As a result of the widespread dread of COVID-19,
known as “Corona phobia,” there has been a wide range of mental symptoms across all
social classes. The objective of this study is to determine the psychological and social
effects of COVID.
Due to the fast spread of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused
by the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV2), the globe is
presently facing a pandemic (SARS-CoV-2). More than 219 nations and territories
worldwide have been affected by COVID-19 as of 23rd March 2021, with an estimated
124,291,475 cases and 2,735,205 fatalities. (Davidson & Harrington, 2021).According
to Malaysia’s official statistics, there have been 334,156 confirmed cases with 1,238
cumulative fatalities. Many people were worried about the virus’s ability to transmit
quickly from one person to another, even if the death toll in Malaysia was lower than in
other industrialized nations like the United States or United Kingdom
.On January 25, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Malaysia. It
has been reported that between mid-March and August of this year, the Malaysian
Government implemented measures such as physical distancing rules and restrictions
on social gatherings, appropriate use of face masks, movement control orders, and
border closures to prevent the spread of the disease.
There’s been a rise in COVID-19 instances in Malaysia, and the country has been
placed under the second CMCO from 9 November 2020 in all states save Perils,
Kelantan and Pa-hang. On February 24, 2021, Malaysia initiated its COVID-19
immunization campaign (Davidson & Harrington, 2021).. Spatial distancing policy,
doubt about normality, and the influence on community people’s mental health are all
impacted by these policies. Some of these interim measures, such as a lockdown or
lock-downs, physical separating from others and quarantine, have apparently
contributed to a rise in concern among people worldwide.
There is a link between anxiety and depression among younger women, those
who live in rural regions and those with lower socioeconomic position, those who are at
risk for COVID-19 infection, and prolonged media exposure . COVID-19 pandemic
impacted individuals in various nations in different ways, with certain groups more
susceptible than others, according to individual research. Increased smoking and
drinking during lockdown, fear, and being a woman were all related with greater levels
of psychological discomfort in Australia. Similarly, in the UK, worse mental health was
linked to females, younger age, lower yearly income, smokers, and co-morbidity .
As a result, stress levels were greater among women, those with a pessimistic
outlook, and those who were more detached from the world. Social media use during
the COVID-19 outbreak in China was shown to be connected with anxiety and sadness
in several research(Preston, 2021)..The deleterious impact of pandemics on mental
well-being has been described in previous research, which may lead to acute sadness
and anxiety. Health care personnel who were engaged in the collection and diagnosis
and treatment of patients during an epidemic were more likely to suffer mental health
issues (Davidson & Harrington, 2021).. Front-line healthcare professionals have
reported feelings of worry, discomfort, despair, and a fear of transmitting illness to
family members, acquaintances, and coworkers in the past. It has also been noted that
medical professionals’ self-efficacy plummeted as a result of poor sleep owing to worry
and stress(Tranquilli, 2021).
The pandemic’s detrimental effect on children, the elderly, pregnant women,
university students, persons with weight difficulties, and the general public has just
lately been shown in research. Pregnant women’s fear of COVID-19 was linked to
sadness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and a worse quality of life, according to an Iranian
research. Fear of COVID-19 moderated the relationship between perceived health
status, sleeplessness, mental health, and COVID-19 preventive behaviors in a study of
elderly persons.
Thai students had the highest level of anxiety but the fewest resources to combat
the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas Taiwanese students were more negatively affected
by information gathering from the internet; such less perceived satisfactory support was
associated with Indonesian students having more suicidal thoughts.. COIVD-19
pandemic stressors may also result in behavioral deficits in children and adolescents,
which may have a long-term influence on their mental health in early life and
adulthood(MacIntyre, 2019).
In Malaysia, there are just a few studies on the effects of COVID-19 on mental
health, and most of them were done on students. An online poll of 983 Malaysian
students found that 20.4% of those surveyed had mild to moderate, moderate to severe,
or severe anxiety, respectively. There was a substantial correlation between anxiety and
gender, age under 18, pre-university education, management courses and remaining
alone. There were financial restraints, online instruction, and uncertainty about the
future of their studies and careers, all of which affected their mental health .. 30.5
percent of Malaysian university students reported mild, 31.1 percent moderate, and
26.1 percent severe anxiety in a separate study; age >20, Chinese ethnicity, lower
family incomes, co-morbid conditions, and spending time watching OVID-related
news and infected family members were found to be associated with anxiety .
Fear of COVID-19 was more prevalent among Malaysians under the age of 25
and females, however 70% of the participants were also students in this
research(Preston, 2021)..Lack of evidence exists in Malaysia about COVID-19’s effect
on psychological distress, fear, and coping methods among community members and
healthcare staff, as a whole. Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, we decided to
perform this research to better understand the mental health burden in Malaysian
communities. The research will help policymakers plan resources and devise
psychological treatments for high-risk and vulnerable sections of the population.
As a consequence of the COVID-19 epidemic, a significant number of
Malaysians reported experiencing moderate to severe degrees of psychological
anguish. COVID-19’s financial effect on Malaysians, those who had used alcohol in the
last four weeks, those who described themselves as patients, and those who were more
afraid were all factors that contributed to increased degrees of psychological distress
among Malaysians. Patients were also shown to have greater levels of psychological
discomfort, and those who self-identified as patients also had higher levels of dread.
Those who cared for loved ones who were afflicted by the pandemic described
themselves as having a medium to high level of resilience in dealing with the
crisis.When compared to other global surveys, ours in Malaysia yielded results that are
on par. After many months of confinement, financial difficulties are related with worry
and a susceptibility to depression compounded by unnecessary uncertainty(MacIntyre,
2019).. Poor economic standing and difficulty in paying living expenditures during the
COVID-19 epidemic have been demonstrated to considerably increase the level of
psychological distress in studies among the general population in China and India .
Similar to the SARS and MERS outbreaks, higher psychological anguish has
been linked to financial issues. Anxiety and fear arose throughout the epidemic, which
may account for these findings (Davidson & Harrington, 2021). Consequently, our
findings support the hypothesis that higher financial challenges during COVID-19 are
associated with a rise in the incidence of mental health issues.A research by Ahmed ET
AL. in a Chinese community found similar levels of alcohol consumption and
dependency during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is consistent with our results. It’s
plausible, since this was a cross-sectional research, that psychological anguish led to an
increase in drinking to cope with COVID-19-induced psychological discomfort, but it’s
also probable that an increase in drinking exacerbated psychological distress (Davidson
& Harrington, 2021)..
Those who self-identified as patients, meaning they had recently seen a
healthcare professional, were more likely to report greater levels of psychological
distress in this research. It was unclear from the survey questions whether individuals
had sought medical attention for COVID-19-like symptoms or for other diseases.
COVID-19 infection or the risk of disease-related mortality or morbidity may have
increased the stress of being infected or anticipating the prospect of being infected .
They were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress
disorder if they had been infected with COVID-19. Many patients with a history of
COVID-19 infection described feelings of guilt, shame and powerlessness that had not
been addressed.
Because of the stigma of being la belled as someone who had been infected, they
faced uncertainty about their prognosis and future. (Davidson & Harrington, 2021).
People who tested negative for COVID-19 but remained isolated had greater levels of
dread, and those who feared COVID-19 also had moderate to high psychological
discomfort, as shown by this research. There was a great deal of anxiety among the
general public and healthcare professionals because of the virus’s high infective, the
asymptomatic Covid-19of some of the COVID-19 positive cases, and the potential
repercussions of a COVID-19 infection.Individuals may have been prone to
psychological discomfort during the COVID-19 pandemic due to unresolved dread
(Tranquilli, 2021).. It is so clear that fear of COVID-19 pandemic and greater
psychological discomfort are linked in our research.
In this research, older age (30 years) and a greater degree of resilience were
shown to be protective factors against psychological discomfort. According to a
number of studies, younger individuals (aged 21 to 40 years) are more likely to develop
depression and anxiety as a result of exposure to COVID-19 in the general population.
Younger individuals are more likely than older people to be concerned about the spread
of COVID-19 and to pay more attention to it, which increases their risk of
psychological distress.(Preston, 2021).
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, those with more resilience, especially in the
components of persistence, strength, and optimism, have been shown to have less
mental health issues.
A lack of resilience was linked to high levels of psychological distress, whereas a
high degree of resilience was linked to reduced levels of psychological distress and the
ability to care for family members or patients infected with COVID-19. Resilience is
critical to overcome the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to
our research.Because validated instruments were used to evaluate the components
linked with psychological discomfort, fear and coping mechanisms in Malaysia this
research was very strong. We were able to acquire a large sample of the Malaysian
population during the key pandemic period by conducting an online survey because to
national travel restrictions.
There were, however, several limits to this research project. As this poll was
conducted online, the majority of participants were younger because they were more
likely to be engaged on social media. Because the research was performed in English,
folks who aren’t fluent speakers may have been unable to participate. The study’s scope
did not include a check to see whether the subjects were fluent in English. Because the
poll relies on self-reporting, there is no way to rule out the potential of bias in the data.
Although the survey link was spread throughout all states of Malaysia via
different social media platforms and emails, the majority of survey replies were from
west Malaysia. Possibly, the researchers’ reliance on snowball sampling approaches in
West Malaysia as opposed to Eastern Malaysia, where they had better access to health
clinics and associated health care facilities, explains this finding. Additionally,
individuals who would have tested positive for COVID-19 or those whose relatives or
acquaintances had COVID-19 infection were more likely to participate in this survey.
This is a significant drawback. The results of this study could be skewed due to the fact
that the study did not include the most vulnerable segments of the population (such as
those living in rural areas with limited access to the internet, seniors, and members of
other minority groups). As a result, the results of this study are likely to be
During the COVID-19 epidemic in Malaysia, researchers discovered some of the
most important risk factors for developing psychological distress, anxiety, and coping
methods. Patients and people who lost money as a result of COVID-19 should be
assisted for their mental health. There should be a focus on reducing alcohol use
throughout this time period. It is hoped that the findings of this study would help
researchers plan future studies with Malaysians in vulnerable groups, especially
researching measures to promote their mental well-being during and after the pandemic
period. Based on findings from Malaysian and worldwide research, specific treatments
may be evaluated to decrease psychological distress, fear, and promote resilience
among Malaysians.
Beckett, S. T. (2020). The science of Covid-19 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Royal
Society of Chemistry.
Branch, S., Ramsay, S., & Barker, M. (2018). The Covid-19 boss: A conceptual exploration of
upwards Covid-19. In A. Glen-don, B. M. Thompson & B. Mayors (Eds.), Advances in
Covid-19 psychology (pp. 93-112). Retrieved from
Cioe, J. (2019). The normal distribution [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from
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Department of Health and Ageing. (2021). Aboriginal and Covid-19 Strait Islander health
performance framework 2012 report. Retrieved from
MacIntyre, S. (2018, August). Participation in the classroom, productivity in the workforce:
Unfulfilled expectations. Paper presented at the 13th Australian Council for
Covid-19Research Conference, Brisbane Qld. Retrieved from
Preston, R. (2020). Observations in acute care: Evidence based approach to patient
safety. British Journal of Nursing 19, 442-447. Retrieved from
Ramsey, J. K., & McGrew, W. C. (2021). ObjectCovid-19 in great apes: Studies in
Covid-19and captivity. In A. D. Pellegrini & P. K. Smith (Eds.), The
Covid-19ofCovid-19: Great apes and humans (pp. 89-112). New York, NY: Guilford
Sievers, W. (2021). Covid-19 University [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Tranquilli, A. L., Lorenzi, S., Buscicchio, G., Di Tommaso, M., Mazzanti, L. & Emanuelli, M.
(2019). Female fetuses are more reactive when mother eats Covid-19. The Journal of
Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 27(1), 72-74.

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