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Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging infection causing a widely spread pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The current COVID-2019 pandemic is prompting fear of falling sick, dying, helplessness and stigma so urgent and timely understanding of mental health status is needed to help the community. The aim of our study is to assess the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on medical students in Sudan.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional descriptive research was done among medical student in Sudan during COVID 19 pandemic in August 2020. DASS-21 scales were used to determine the level of depression, anxiety and stress among medical students through an online questionnaire; their responses were taken relatable to 21 items of DASS scale. The data was analyzed by means of SPPS version 25.0.
Results: The mean (SD) age of our study participants was 21.8 (2.4) with female to male ratio of 2.1. Most of the participants were residing during the time of the study in middle stats of Sudan (50.8%) and 83% were staying with their families. Interestingly, more than 40.5% of the study participants were free of depression while more than 13% had extremely severe depression. On the other hand, only 4.4% had extremely severe stress. However, anxiety ranked the higher numbers with 23% had extremely severe anxiety. Adjusted linear regression model revealed that lower levels in the medical school and open colleges during the lock down period were associated with more anxiety (p value 0.01,0.006 respectively), while having a family member working in the medical field is associated with less stress (p-value 0.02).
Conclusion: Our study provides good idea about the magnitude of the psychological burden upon medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic and showed many factors that can influence mental health so as to emphasize the need to adopt new strategies to improve psychological services. In addition, it's important to support high-risk groups especially those with preexisting mental illness to offer advanced psychological interventions. So our study can be used to construct and formulate a psychological intervention and implement mental health strategies directed toward vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Published Date: 2021-07-20; Received Date: 2021-06-29