DETERMINING STRESS AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS IN A RURAL COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC USING THE COVID STRESS SCALE
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people worldwide, both physically and mentally. Stress is one of the burdens being faced, especially in the working class. Therefore, this study aimed to explore and compare associated stress factors during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown among adults in a rural community in Thailand using the COVID stress scale.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2021 to March 2022 in Chachoengsao Province. It included adults aged 20 to 60 years old. The questionnaire included demographic data and the Thai COVID stress scale (T-CSS) version. The data were collected using face-to-face interviews. Associated factors of stress were assessed using linear regression.
Results: Data were compared with their counterparts, illiteracy (adjusted β=18.4, 95% CI 5.9-30.1) and agriculturists (adjusted β=13.2, 95% CI 3.1-23.4). At the same time, age 51-60 (adjusted β=-11.1, 95% CI 3.9-27.3) and vaccination with ≥3 doses of COVID-19 vaccine (adjusted β=-8.9, 95% CI -16.4 to -1.5) were associated with decreased stress level.
Discussion: Illiteracy and agriculturists were associated with higher stress scores. COVID-19 vaccination doses might affect stress levels due to the efficacy of preventing infection and severe illness. Older people had less stress due to better experience in stress management. Limitations included that T-CSS cannot determine the cut-off point of stress and nonstress in the population due to multiple factors. However, it might be possible to imply that outlier scores from a normal distribution are likely to be most stressful during the COVD-19 pandemic.
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