FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH STRESS LEVELS AMONG THAI FARMERS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Authors

  • Goontalee Bangkadanara Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
  • Sara Arphorn Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
  • Chaiyanun Tangtong Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
  • Suchinda Jarupat Maruo
  • Densak Yogyorn Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
  • Chatchai Thanachoksawang Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
  • Tomohiro Ishimaru Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, Kitakyushu, Japan

Keywords:

Thai farmers, stress, agricultural investment, impact of COVID-19

Abstract

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in increased stress levels among Thai farmers, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with stress among farmers in order to inform efforts to support the mental health of this population. Study subjects were Thai farmers in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand. Subjects were purposely selected from Thai farmers aged ≥20 years in the study province. The minimum number of subjects calculated to be needed for the study was 250. Study subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire that asked about demographics, work experience, the impact of COVID-19, their self-perceived stress levels, the presence of selected factors that could influence stress and a Thai version of the Job Content Questionnaire developed by Phakthongsuk and Apakupakul. The questionnaire results were interpreted using the Karasek Job Demand-Control model, which is a model used to identify workplace stressors. The questionnaire was scored with a total possible number of 0-241 points, where a score of 0-144 points was defined as having a low stress level and a score of ≥145 points was defined as having a high stress level. The study was conducted during June-September 2021. We used multivariable logistic regression analysis to identify factors significantly associated with a high stress level. A total of 144 subjects were included in the study; 59.7% male. The mean (±standard deviation) age of subjects was 52.1 (±12.9) (range: 22-65) years. 59.7% of subjects had low stress levels and 40.3% had high stress levels. On multivariate analysis the factors significantly associated with a high stress level were: lack of agricultural investment (the inadequate availability of agricultural funding) (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 8.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-78.44; p=0.04) and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychological stress (aOR = 3.20; 95% CI: 1.16-8.78; p=0.03). Factors not significantly associated with stress were: age, marital status and work experience. In summary, the factors associated with high stress levels among study subjects were lack of agricultural investment and impact of COVID-19. We conclude, a program to improve the mental health of the study population needs to deal with the problem of agricultural investment and the effect of COVID-19. Further studies are needed to determine if a program that addresses these issues can practically improve stress levels in the study population.

Downloads

Published

2023-05-25

Similar Articles

1-10 of 173

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.