Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Medical Students of Rawalpindi Medical University: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Medical personnel has been greatly affected in the face of the catastrophic health emergency owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to WHO, caused about 1,397,139 deaths worldwide. The objective of this study was to determine the percentage of medical students screened positive for mental health problems at Rawalpindi Medical University during the COVID-19 pandemic and the association of positive screening with gender, year of study, and family income.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted on medical students of Rawalpindi Medical University for two months, i.e. May-June, 2020. Data were collected through an online questionnaire containing demographic details and a self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ-20). Statistical analyses were carried out using SPSS v.23.0, and a p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Overall, 87(33.7%) students were screened positive for mental health problems as per individual SRQ-20 score. Positive screening was found to be higher among female students (34.9% vs 31.4%). Mental health was significantly associated with the year of study (p-
value=0.046) but not with family income (p-value=0.119). Multivariate binary logistic regression analysis revealed an adjusted odds ratio of 1.161 (95% CI, P=0.608), 0.841 (95% CI, P=0.032), 0.662 (95% CI, P=0.208) for gender, year of study, and family income respectively.
Conclusions: About one-third of medical students are screened positive for mental health problems. Female students are relatively more prone to develop mental health issues.
Students with low family income and those studying in the first and second year of MBBS have a high propensity towards mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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