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Return to classes impact on mental health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic


Seffrin, Aldo; Puccinelli, Paulo J; Vivan, Lavinia; Vancini, Rodrigo L; de Lira, Claudio A B; Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Rosemann, Thomas; Knechtle, Beat; Andrade, Marilia Santos (2022). Return to classes impact on mental health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 34(1):24-29.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the necessary social isolation and distancing measures - that were adopted to prevent spreading the virus, including the suspension of university classes - negatively impacted the mental health of young adults. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether returning to online classes, even not presential, during the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, affected the mental health of university students.

METHODS

Forty students (10 men and 30 women) (age, 22.3±3.8 years; body mass, 62.5±17.8 kg; height, 165.6±8.7cm) from undergraduate health courses participated in the study. The students answered a self-administered questionnaire designed to gather personal and quarantine information as well as information about the frequency of depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) symptoms. The questionnaire was answered before and after the return to online classes.

RESULTS

There was a significantly lower frequency of depression symptoms after the return to online classes (Z = -2.27; p = 0.02). However, there was no difference in anxiety symptoms before and after returning to online classes (Z = -0.51; p = 0.61).

CONCLUSIONS

Return to online classes positively impacted the mental health (decrease of frequency of depression symptoms) of university students. Future studies are needed to observe whether the changes observed after returning to school are maintained over time.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the necessary social isolation and distancing measures - that were adopted to prevent spreading the virus, including the suspension of university classes - negatively impacted the mental health of young adults. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether returning to online classes, even not presential, during the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, affected the mental health of university students.

METHODS

Forty students (10 men and 30 women) (age, 22.3±3.8 years; body mass, 62.5±17.8 kg; height, 165.6±8.7cm) from undergraduate health courses participated in the study. The students answered a self-administered questionnaire designed to gather personal and quarantine information as well as information about the frequency of depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) symptoms. The questionnaire was answered before and after the return to online classes.

RESULTS

There was a significantly lower frequency of depression symptoms after the return to online classes (Z = -2.27; p = 0.02). However, there was no difference in anxiety symptoms before and after returning to online classes (Z = -0.51; p = 0.61).

CONCLUSIONS

Return to online classes positively impacted the mental health (decrease of frequency of depression symptoms) of university students. Future studies are needed to observe whether the changes observed after returning to school are maintained over time.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:1 February 2022
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 14:42
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0924-2708
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/neu.2021.31
PubMed ID:34521487
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)