IMPACT OF COVID-19 RELATED STRESSORS ON MENTAL HEALTH IN JUNIOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
Keywords:COVID-19, medical students, mental health
Introduction: Concern for mental health consequences in general population worldwide has been apparent since the start of the actual pandemic.
Aim of the study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 related stressors on mental health in junior medical students during December 2020 COVID-19 related lockdown.
Material and methods: The investigation included 275 second-year medical students aged 19-28 years, from the Faculty of Medicine, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje during December 2020. Self-administered questionnaire containing standardized instruments for assessment of parameters of psychological distress (BAI, BDI and PSS) were used. COVID-19 related attitudes questionnaire for assessment of status of COVID-19 testing and infection, self-perceived levels of concerns related to academics [COVID-19-AA (academic apprehensions)] and those related to the self and family/friends [COVID-19-GA (general apprehensions)] were included.
Results: The prevalence of anxiety, depression and stress was 74.9%, 43.3% and 78.9%, respectively. Almost 29% of students reported high anxiety, 6.2% had severe depression and 21.45% reported high levels of perceived stress. There was a significant positive correlation between COVID-19 GA score and BAI, BDI и PSS scores (p<0.05). Correlations between the COVID-19 AA scores and scores on BAI, BDI and PSS scales were also statistically significant (p=0.0000). Academic apprehension was found a predictive factor for high anxiety, depression and high stress (R2 = .12, F (1,273) = 38.79, p < .001. β = 1.12, p < .001).
Conclusion: General and academic apprehension related to COVID-19 have negative effects on mental wellbeing in second year medical students.
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