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Vol. 50. Issue 3.
Pages 214-224 (July - September 2021)
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Vol. 50. Issue 3.
Pages 214-224 (July - September 2021)
Original article
DOI: 10.1016/j.rcpeng.2021.04.003
Psychosocial impact on health-related and non-health related university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of an electronic survey
Impacto psicosocial en estudiantes universitarios de ciencias de la salud y otros durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Resultados de una encuesta electrónica
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Patricio García-Espinosaa,
Corresponding author
patricio.garciaes@uanl.edu.mx

Corresponding author.
, Xóchitl Ortiz-Jiménezb, Edgar Botello-Hernándeza, Rebeca Aguayo-Samaniegoa, Jorge Leija-Herreraa, Fernando Góngora-Riverac, Gecen Investigators
a Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, México
b Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, México
c Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Universitario Dr. José Eleuterio González, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, México
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Figures (2)
Tables (4)
Table 1. Characteristics of the population.
Table 2. Odds ratio of variables as predictors of severe depression and/or anxiety staging in all college students.
Table 3. Odds ratio of variables as predictors of severe depression and/or anxiety staging in health-related college students.
Table 4. Odds ratio of variables as predictors of severe depression and/or anxiety staging in non-health-related college students.
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Additional material (1)
Abstract
Introduction

The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused feelings of anxiety, confusion, and panic among the world population. Due to these psychological changes resulting from the stress produced by the disease, we sought to investigate the psychological impact of the pandemic on the university student community.

Material and methods

1,283 students were surveyed, of which 1,149 students were selected. The majority of the subjects were female, and the overall average age was of 20 years. They were provided with an 82-question online questionnaire divided into four sections; looking for the prevalence of significant symptomatology of major depression and generalised anxiety using the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scales; and factors that potentially affect the mental health of our university population.

Results

We found a high prevalence of significant depression (47.08%) and anxiety (27.06%) symptomatology, considering a score of 10 or more as cut-off point. There was no significant difference in depression and anxiety symptomatology between the health-care students and non-health-care students.

Conclusions

Our results, together with what is observed in the literature, allow us to conclude that the college student population has a high risk of mental illness, and these should be taken into consideration for the search of effective strategies for detection and control of mental health illnesses. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic is a red flag that shows the need to upgrade mental health programmes in universities and to validate virtual instruments.

Keywords:
Anxiety
Depression
College students
COVID-19
Resumen
Introducción y objetivos

La actual pandemia de SARS-CoV-2ha causado sentimientos de ansiedad, confusión y pánico entre la población mundial. Debido a estos cambios psicológicos derivados del estrés que produce la enfermedad, se buscó investigar el impacto psicológico de la pandemia en la comunidad estudiantil universitaria.

Material y métodos

Se encuestó a 1.283 estudiantes, de los que se seleccionó a 1.149. La mayoría eran mujeres y la media de edad fue 20 años. Se les proporcionó un cuestionario en línea de 82 preguntas divididas en 4 secciones para indagar la prevalencia de síntomas significativos de depresión mayor y ansiedad generalizada utilizando las escalas PHQ-9 y GAD-7, además factores que pueden afectar a la salud mental de nuestra población universitaria.

Resultados

Se halló una alta prevalencia de síntomas significativos de depresión (47,08%) y ansiedad (27,06%), considerando como umbral un total de 10 o más puntos. No hubo diferencias significativas entre los estudiantes relacionados con la salud y los no relacionados con la salud.

Conclusiones

Nuestros resultados, en conjunto con lo observado en la literatura, muestran que la comunidad universitaria es una población en riesgo de enfermedades mentales, por lo que el Gobierno debería considerar la creación de estrategias efectivas para la detección de problemas de salud mental; sin duda alguna, la actual pandemia de COVID-19 es un foco rojo sobre las necesidad de mejores programas de salud mental en universidades y validación de instrumentos virtuales.

Palabras clave:
Ansiedad
Depresión
Estudiantes universitarios
COVID-19

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