Anxiety and depression among young people in Lithuania under the exposure of the war in Ukraine
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Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine Lithuania
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1271
The Russian-Ukrainian War (RUW) after the covid-19 pandemic once again exposed societies and economies around the world to insecurity and suffering. The surrounding countries in the eastern europe are widely affected due to geopolitical reasons, social and cultural proximity to ukraine and overwhelming mass media exposure. Mental ill-health consequences have already been reported in several european countries. Though long-term consequences of the ruw on mental health are yet to be evaluated, the main aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression among young people in the exposure of ruw.

A cross sectional e-based study has been conducted in october - november 2022 among 410 students aged 18-30 years in lithuania. Research instrument consisted of general anxiety disorder (gad-7) and patient health questionnaire (phq-9) scales supplemented by the self-constructed scale on involvement in ukraine support activities. The final outcomes of anxiety and depression (gad-7 score, phq-9 score) were assessed by sociodemographic variables, as well as by involvement.

40% and 49 % prevalence of moderate to severe anxiety and depression respectively was assessed among young adults. 31.5% of young adults reported being highly involved in ukraine support and information/communication activities. Females and people with high level of involvement in ukraine support had more higher levels of anxiety and depression. Weak associations between involvement, anxiety and depression were disclosed (respectively ρ = 0.24, ρ = 0.18). anxiety was strongly correlated with depression (r=0,725).

High involvement in ukraine support activities and intensive exposure to media coverage of ruw were associated with moderate to severe levels of anxiety and depression in young adults in lithuania. These findings can help in understanding and addressing long term impacts on population mental health in exposure to the war in ukraine.

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