Original Research

Are COVID-19’s restrictive measures associated with people’s quality of life and the prevalence of anxiety and depression in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, Laddy Sedzo Lombo, Israël Kenda Makopa, Joyce PanzaEkofo
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 13, No 3 | a424 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.1728 | © 2024 Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, Laddy Sedzo Lombo, Israël Kenda Makopa, Joyce PanzaEkofo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2024 | Published: 07 September 2022

About the author(s)

Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, International Centre for Mental Health Social Research, University of York, York, United Kingdom
Laddy Sedzo Lombo, Centre Spécialisé dans la Prise en charge Psychosociale en Santé Mentale (CSPEMRDC), Université Chrétienne de Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Congo
Israël Kenda Makopa, Centre Spécialisé dans la Prise en charge Psychosociale en Santé Mentale (CSPEMRDC), Université Chrétienne de Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Congo
Joyce PanzaEkofo, Social Work and International Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, United States

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Abstract

Background. The spread of COVID-19 and the economic repercussions of several restrictive measures have worsened the lives of the Congolese and caused panic, fear, and anxiety. No study has yet examined the effect COVID-19’s restrictive measures had on the quality of life in the Congo.

Aims. The purpose of this study is to determine if the restrictive measures of COVID-19 are associated with the quality of life and the prevalence of anxiety and depression in Kinshasa.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in seventeen Kinshasa municipalities. N=100 adults over the age of 18 were recruited (41 females, 58 males and 1 prefer not). Social Contacts Assessment (SCA), Time Use Survey (TUS), Manchester Short Assessment of quality of life (MANSA), Health status EQ-5D-3L, UCLA Loneliness Scale; Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9); General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) and COVID-19 related questions were utilized. We conducted descriptive statistics and multiple regression analyses.Results suggest that depression and anxiety are more prevalent (PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores were 9.1 (SD=6.8) and 8.5 (SD=6.1) respectively). Negative associations were found between the quality of life and living alone (B=-0.35, p=0.05) and mental health decline due to COVID- 19 (B=-0.30, p=0.04). Those who described themselves as less lonely reported a higher quality of life (B=0.34, p=0.03).

Conclusions. Living alone is associated with a lower quality of life. This study fills a gap in the literature on public health in the DRC and low- and middle-income countries.


Keywords

COVID19 pandemic; social isolation; quality of life; anxiety and depression; mental health conditions; Kinshasa

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