Depression, anxiety, and stress among public university students in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, university students, mental health, stress, tertiary education
“Coronaphobia” has spread across the world due to the overwhelming impact of coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19). The education sector has suffered from the pandemic, and university students find themselves in an unprecedented situation. Many university students in Bangladesh require psychological intervention due to adverse mental health conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the psychological conditions among public university students in Bangladesh during university campus closures necessitated by the pandemic. It also sought to ascertain factors associated with adverse psychological conditions during this period. Convenience and snowball sampling techniques were employed. In all, 1,382 university students participated in an online survey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Relationships between student demographic factors and DASS 21 subscales were determined using linear regression models. Students were classified as suffering from anxiety (26.85 percent), normal depression (25.47 percent), moderate depression (29.52 percent), or extremely severe depression (17.73 percent). Students who lived with their families reported less adverse mental health. Factors strongly associated with students’ psychological conditions include age, academic field, university year, perception of their own mental health condition during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety concerns about their living place relative to COVID-19, perceptions about social life, academic profile, academic performance, concerns about pandemic impact on their studies, and part-time jobs during the pandemic. Outcomes of this research may assist social organizations and health workers to identify psychologically vulnerable university students in order to support them more effectively. Our findings could also be integrated into comprehensive pandemic control efforts.
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