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Published: 2023-12-08

Perceived stress among Sri Lankans during the economic crisis: an online survey

1Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Faculty of Health, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.2Health and Wellness Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
3Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 4Nawaloka Hospital Research and Education Foundation, Nawaloka Hospitals PLC, Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Background: The Sri Lankan population's mental health was undoubtedly significantly impacted by the county’s economic crisis. This study investigated the prevalence of perceived stress and its socio-demographic predictor. 

Methods: A web-based cross-sectional survey was undertaken in July-August 2022, using google forms. The respondents were assessed for socio-demographics, and the level of stress experienced over the previous month. Ten-item self-reported perceived stress scale (PSS) was used to assess stress levels analysis. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used.

Results: A total of 1214 respondents, aged ≥18 years were included in the survey. The majority were females (60%). The mean PSS score of this population was 21.95 ±6.09. More than half of the respondents reported moderate levels of stress (68.5%), while 23% registered high levels. A significant association was demonstrated between stress levels and variables age, gender, and residential area. Respondents below the age of 40 years (OR 1.936, 95% CI, 1.365-2.748, P<0.001) were more likely to report higher odds of having increased PSS scores, while men (OR 0.640, 95% CI, 0.491-0.835, P=0.001), and those without children (OR 0.556, 95% CI, 0.409-0.756, P<0.001) had significantly lower odds of reporting PSS.

Conclusion: Respondents experienced moderate to high levels of stress during the financial crisis in Sri Lanka. Higher stress was predicted by younger age, female gender, and having children. The results highlight the urgent need for stress management interventions to boost resilience and improve psychological well-being in this situation.



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How to Cite

Sooriyaarachchi P, Jayawardena R. Perceived stress among Sri Lankans during the economic crisis: an online survey . jidhealth [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 8 [cited 2024 Feb. 23];6(4):975-81. Available from: