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Title: Erratic electricity supply (Dumsor) and anxiety disorders among university students in Ghana: a cross sectional study
Authors: Ibrahim, Abdallah
Aryeetey, Genevieve C
Asampong, Emmanuel
Dwomoh, Duah
Nonvignon, Justice
Issue Date: 2-Mar-2016
Citation: International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2016 Mar 02;10(1):17
Abstract: Abstract Background Ghana is currently experiencing electricity supply crisis that is believed to have some impact on the mental wellbeing of the population, especially among university students that have become increasingly dependent on uninterrupted electricity supply to fully function academically. There is no known study that explores the link between infrequent electricity supply and generalized anxiety disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to explore that link and determine the proportion of university students whose anxiety levels may be influenced by the electricity supply crisis that the country is experiencing at the moment. Methods This exploratory study used the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7) to conduct the study on the University of Ghana campus. The likelihood ratio (LR) test and Fisher’s Exact tests were used to determine any association between the electricity supply crisis and anxiety levels among students. Unadjusted odds ratio and corresponding confidence intervals were estimated and ordinal logistic regression technique was used for the effect of covariates on anxiety. Results Overall, nearly 26 % of students interviewed felt nervous, anxious or on edge almost every day due to the erratic power supply. The proportion of students determined to be classified having minimal, mild, moderate and severe anxiety due to the erratic power supply was 24.2, 30.7, 22.1 and 23.1 % respectively. Students were significantly more likely to be anxious if the frequency of power outage increased (OR 1.36; CI 1.23–1.49). Conclusions Our finding in this study suggests that although the erratic power supply does not allude to any clinical confirmation of the students having anxiety disorders, it does point to a fact that even in a resource-poor country like Ghana, where constant supply of electricity is not always guaranteed, students may not be entirely immune to the health and well-being implications of failures in some sectors of the economy such as power supply.
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