Purpose: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to play havoc in our lives. During the first " lockdown" in 2020, we were keen on assessing the anxiety levels of patients who sought ophthalmic care despite the lockdown. Public health actions, such as social distancing, were necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, most people felt isolated and lonely, thereby causing increased levels of stress and anxiety in them. We aimed to assess the anxiety levels using the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and personality assessment using the 57-point Eysenck's Personality Inventory (EPI) questionnaire among patients visiting a tertiary eye care hospital during the lockdown period.
Methods: Consecutive patients attending an ophthalmic tertiary care hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown were approached to be a part of this prospective cross-sectional survey.
Results: In total, 1,088 responses were analyzed during the 2-month study period with the mean age being 45.7 + 16.9 years. The majority had completed graduation (78%) with 15 years or more of formal education. The purpose of the visit was an emergency consultation in 42% (n = 455), a review appointment in 42% (n = 457), and the remaining (16%, n = 176) came for a routine consultation. The majority of the patients (>90%) did not report experiencing any of the 14 sets of symptoms. A mild level of anxiety was noted in 1,086 (>99%) respondents, whereas only 2 (<1%) respondents showed mild-moderate levels of anxiety. Financial concerns such as affordability of medications (6% vs. 3%, P = 0.05) and fear of losing their job (16% vs. 11%, P = 0.02) were significantly more in those experiencing any anxiety compared to those with no anxiety.
Conclusion: Our study revealed that patients visiting a tertiary ophthalmic center during lockdown were graduates, sought eye consultation primarily for emergency or a review, and had no major anxiety symptoms. In those with anxiety, the affordability of medicines and loss of jobs were the main concerns.
- Communicable Disease Control
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Middle Aged
- Prospective Studies
- Tertiary Care Centers