ANXIETY DISORDERS IN MALAYSIA FROM 2005 TO 2015: A SCOPING REVIEW OF THEIR PREVALENCE RATES, ASSOCIATED FACTORS, AND PREDICTORS

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Jamilah Hanum Abdul Khaiyom
Firdaus Mukhtar
Tian Po Sumantri Oei

Abstract

Introduction: The current study aims to investigate the prevalence rates, associated factors, and predictors of anxiety disorders in Malaysia through a scoping review.


Methods: PsycINFO and MEDLINE databases and a total of 28 local journals were used to search for published papers in this particular area. In this case, 37 out of 105 articles managed to meet the inclusion criteria and were subjected to review. A total of 17,673 respondents, which comprised university students, the general community, and numerous types of clinical patients, were included in the review.


Results: The results showed that the prevalence rate of anxiety disorders was in the range between 1% and 67.6% for the mentioned populations. Moreover, various types of associated factors were found to be related to anxiety such as being divorced, widowed, or single; having a lower than tertiary level of education; being unemployed or retired; and having a low socioeconomic status. Meanwhile, there were also several predictors of anxiety such as having to deal with negative life events; domestic violence; family history of mental illness; severe psychological problems; and chronic physical illness.


Conclusion: Generally, the prevalence of anxiety disorders is noticeable, and anxiety disorders may contribute to a decrease in the quality of life, an increase in social burden, reduced productivity, and increased utilization of health services. Therefore, awareness among community and health service providers regarding the prevalence rate of anxiety is believed to help in developing access to evidence-based psychological and pharmacological interventions. 

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Research article