Role of positive mental health in reducing fears related to COVID-19 and general anxiety disorder in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Creative Commons License

Mahmood Q. K., Sohail M. M., Qureshi W. A., Zakar R., Wrona K. J., Fischer F.

BMC PSYCHOLOGY, vol.10, no.1, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40359-022-00869-7
  • Journal Name: BMC PSYCHOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Corona, Pakistan, Mental health, Quality of life, PSYCHOLOGY, STRATEGIES, PREDICTORS, CHILDREN
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


Background The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has posed multiple challenges to healthcare systems. Evidence suggests that mental well-being is badly affected due to compliance with preventative measures in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the role of positive mental health (subjective sense of wellbeing) to cope with fears related to COVID-19 and general anxiety disorder in the Pashtun community in Pakistan. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 501 respondents from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participating in an online-based study. We performed correlational analysis, hierarchical linear regression and structural equational modeling (SEM) to analyze the role of mental health in reducing fears and general anxiety disorder. Results The results of the SEM show that positive mental health has direct effects in reducing the fear related to COVID-19 (beta = - 0.244, p < 0.001) and general anxiety (beta = - 0.210, p < 0.001). Fears of COVID-19 has a direct effect on increasing general anxiety (beta = 0.480). In addition, positive mental health also has an indirect effect (beta = - 0.117, p < 0.001) on general anxiety (R-2 = 0.32, p < 0.001) through reducing fear of coronavirus. Conclusion Based on these findings, there is a need to develop community health policies emphasizing on promotive and preventive mental health strategies for people practicing social/physical distancing.