Citation Information :
Alahmari AD, Krishna GG, Jose AM, Homoud MM, Majeed AM, Almofareh AM, Alhzaani FM, Alwadeai KS. Mental Health of Undergraduate Health Science Students during and after the COVID-19 Lockdown. Indian J Respir Care 2023; 12 (3):248-253.
Introduction: The health, economic, social, and educational systems worldwide have been seriously impacted by the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Students’ academic results and mental health were greatly impacted by the lack of traditional face-to-face lectures, access to digital learning, and possibilities for networking and socializing. The study's outcome was to investigate the stress, depression, and anxiety experienced by undergraduate health science students during and after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Materials and methods: We collected data from 470 students using three validated questionnaires: the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) for stress, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) for anxiety, and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression. The questionnaires were sent to potential participants via e-mail during the COVID-19 lockdown. After the lockdown, a follow-up was made.
Results: A total of 368 (78.3%) participants completed the questionnaires; 30.7% (n = 113) vs 19.8% (n = 73) experienced severe stress during and after the lockdown, respectively. The mean scores for stress, anxiety, and depression during the lockdown vs postlockdown were 22 (11) vs 20 (11), 9 (7) vs 9 (6), and 7 (6) vs 7 (6.5), respectively.
Conclusion: During the COVID-19 lockdown, undergraduate health science students experienced serious mental health issues, especially those under medication for psychological disorders. A significant improvement was observed postlockdown in overall mental health among students, but the number of students experiencing mental health issues remained high.
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