Psychological Distress Screening for Depression, Anxiety and Stress among Medical Ward Patients in Hospital Tapah, Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Study Using The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21)
Keywords:mental health, psychological distress, Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), patient care, health promotion
Objectives: The mental health (MH) issue has emerged as one of the great public health concerns worldwide, and its prevalence is escalating substantially among Malaysians. An individual’s daily living, physical health, and relationships can be hard-hit by an MH disorder. The present study aimed to (i) estimate the probable psychological distress in warded adult patients at Hospital Tapah, Malaysia, and (ii) investigate the key antecedents intrinsically linked to depression, anxiety, and stress that may precipitate psychological distress symptoms.
Material and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study involving 191 participants sampled from the warded adult patients at Hospital Tapah. The psychological distress was assessed using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Data were analysed by logistic regression using SPSS 16.0.
Results: Anxiety (34.0%) was detected as the highest prevalence of probable psychological distress by a wide margin, trailed by stress (16.8%) and depression (15.2%). Race, Orang Asli (native people) and mental health awareness were associated with the depression. Respondents who exercised regularly, were employed, non-smokers, non-alcoholic drinkers, and without mental health awareness were at risk of anxiety. Income was found to be significantly associated with stress.
Conclusion: This study detected a two-fold increase in the risk of anxiety compared to stress and depression. Further studies should be conducted to identify the factors related to the high DASS-21 scores in detail.
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