Depression Among Delivery Agents and its Determinants due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
INTRODUCTION: The outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic has led to depression and anxiety in many people.
AIM: To assess depression and its determinants among delivery agents in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab State, India.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: The present study was online, cross sectional in nature and was conducted among 1248 delivery agents. The level of depression was assessed using a modified version of the Centre for Epidemiological studies- Depression scale (CES-D). Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and student’s independent t-test followed by the modified Bonferroni post-hoc test applied using SPSS version 21.0.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of depression was found to be 53.7%; Most of the agents belonged to the lower class (59.3%) and Lower Middle Class (36.1%) group. The highest percentage of depression was observed as a result of mortgage (91.3%, non-significant), followed by the fear of losing their job (88.8%) due to the COVID-19 pandemic (p=0.03), and fear of getting COVID-19 (85.9%, non-significant difference). Delivery agents having their own transport seemed to have the lowest depression (26.7%, p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: Based on the results of the present study, governmental and industrial policies towards the benefit of the delivery agents is advised and during these testing times, assurance of job security and paid leaves in case of contracting COVID-19 should be beneficial.
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