Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms among Communities in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia: A Rural Exploration

Wong Sok Yee, Lua Pei Lin


Objective: This study intended to determine the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms and to compare their severities among rural residents based on their socio-demographic variables. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 520 residents in East Coast Peninsular Malaysia who completed the Malay Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data were analyzed with SPSS 17.0, whereby descriptive statistics and nonparametric tests were utilised for scores comparison. Results: The prevalence of mild anxiety and depressive symptoms was at 12.90% and 11.30% respectively. Statistically significant associations between gender and monthly income with anxiety and depressive symptoms were observed (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Findings in our study indicated that the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among rural residents was low. Nevertheless, females and those with higher education (> PMR) background were comparatively more prone to these mood disorders. Healthcare professionals should be constantly alerted to these tendencies in the process of providing medical services especially in rural areas.


Anxiety, Depressive, Rural, Socio-demographic, Malaysia

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