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Background: Essential workers are imperative in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Aim: To assess the prevalence and factors associated with anxiety and depression among essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Setting: This study was set in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study involving essential workers in Ekiti State Nigeria, during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. A total of 588 essential workers were sampled. Online socio-demographic variables and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, a 14 item self-reported questionnaire were used.
Results: The prevalence of anxiety and depression among the respondents was 93.4% (CI = 91.2–95.2) and 64.3% (CI = 60.4–68.4) respectively. Among the health workers, the prevalence of anxiety and depression were 96.5% (CI =94.8–98.1) and 66.5% (CI = 60.5–69.8) respectively while the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among non- health workers were 84.6% (CI = 78.7–90.1) and 61.5% (CI = 54.2–69.4) respectively. The odds ratio (OR) of depressive symptoms was increased among, respondents who were not satisfied with the support they received from the government during the pandemic (AOR = 2.071, CI = 1.350–2.213), respondents that were 35 years and younger (AOR = 1.512, CI = 1.033–2.213) and reduced amongst Christians (AOR = 0.501, CI = 0.286–0.879). The odd of anxiety was increased among health workers compared to non-health workers (AOR = 3.700, CI = 1.744–7.851) and the odds of anxiety was reduced among respondents with previous history of mental illness (AOR = 0.215, CI = 0.049–0.943).
Conclusion: Anxiety and depressive symptoms were common mental illness among essential workers working during the COVID-19 lockdown, therefore their mental health should be adequately considered to sustain the fight against the virus.