Reopening of Universities for On-Campus Teaching In COVID-19 Pandemic: Status of Generalized Anxiety in Medical Students
Keywords:COVID-19 Pandemic, medical colleges, medical student's, generalized anxiety
Introduction: Academic institutions all over the world have been closed for physical classes for a long time. This research is primarily focused upon the reopening of the institutions and the state of anxiety in medical students on this account.
Aims & Objectives: We aim to assess the status of generalized anxiety levels in medical students across the country about resuming on-campus academic activities during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
Place and duration of study: All PMC recognized undergraduate public and private medical colleges across Pakistan during the period of Sept-Nov 2020.
Material & Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on a target population of currently enrolled undergraduate medical students across Pakistan who could be accessed through social media. Study variables included socio-demographic variables such as age, gender, class, college type, residential status of student, stress, and anxiety. The sample size was calculated on Open Epi version 3 using 50% assumed prevalence; and sample size was 579, rounded up to 580.Data was collected from a sample of 585 across the country during Sept-Nov 2020. The data collection instrument included: a standardized and validated Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7(GAD-7) questionnaire along with a few socio-demographic questions. Mean and SD values and frequency trends of all variables were recorded. GAD level, anxiety scores and associations were determined through Chi-square test of significance, independent sample t-test, and Regression analysis model.
Results: Showed that 41% of the respondents had anxiety when assessed on the GAD-7 questionnaire; 67% of students were afraid of getting infected while on campus; 49% preferred online education in the present situation; significant associations were found between anxiety scores and respondents' age. Regression analysis revealed that the female students were 1.47 times more anxious and stressed than male students regarding the reopening of universities and continuation of physical education.
Conclusion: The students, particularly, have anxiety about the reopening of institutions amidst the pandemic. The impact on the mental health of the students requires special attention as the anxiety of being on-campus during the pandemic is markedly observed.
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