Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms during COVID-19 pandemic in Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Abdullah A. Alharbi, Ahmad Y. Alqassim, Mohammed A. Muaddi, Anwar M. Makeen, Ahmed M. Hagawi, Layla A. Shaabi, Sabreen M. Alhweity, Mohammed A. Alharbi, Maryam A. Sultan, Atheer H. Alshamakhi, Nada S. Aburasain, Ronnie D. Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to measure anxiety levels and many co-factors that might influence the levels of anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak in southern Saudi Arabia (KSA). A cross-sectional self-reporting survey was conducted to determine the level of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms related to COVID-19 and quarantining. We selected a convenience sample of eligible participants who had been invited online through social media apps. The survey instrument was distributed, and 981 participants responded. Of the total sample, almost 90% were under the age of 40, 75% were women, and 77% had an educational level beyond high school. Just over half were single, with nearly all participants Saudi nationals. The overall prevalence of anxiety related to COVID-19 was 27%. Factors most strongly related to reporting anxiety included having a diagnosis of COVID-19, spending 1- ≥ 3 h focused on COVID-19, having a previous mental illness history, being a current or former smoker, being female, having a previous diagnosis of chronic or respiratory illness, being below age 40, having a limited standard of living, and being a student. Our study reveals how critical it is to emphasize preventive mental health care during pandemics and what factors may make some individuals most vulnerable to anxiety. Further research is recommended to examine GAD levels pre, during and post pandemic. Additional research to explore the long-term impact of the pandemic on mental health is also needed. being a student, and a limited standard of living.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere09424
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Environmental health
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Psychological effect
  • Public health
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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