COVID-19 Pandemic: Assessment of Stress
and Perception of E-Learning amongst First
Year Undergraduate Medical Students
Dr. Mohammed Iqbal Alam,
Professor and Head, Department of Physiology, Hamdard Institute of Medical
Sciences and Research, New Delhi-110062, India.
Introduction: The coronavirus pandemic has involved nearly all the countries of the world. The lockdowns and closure of educational institutes to reduce the risk of disease transmission has brought a change in the medium of teaching as most educational institutes have moved to the online mode. There is a widespread increase in stress as the number of cases and mortality associated with Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) continue each day.
Aim: To assess the stress status of first year undergraduate medical students in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and the perception of first year undergraduate medical students in reference to the E-learning being carried out during the coronavirus pandemic.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional web-based online survey that was conducted using a questionnaire in August 2020 at Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India. The questionnaire was prepared and reviewed by the involved faculty members of the project and it was approved by a faculty from Department of Psychiatry. Reliability of questionnaire was measured using Cronbachâ€™s alpha (0.89). A questionnaire with 20 questions was administered via Google forms to all 100 students of first year MBBS course. Some of the questions in the questionnaire were framed to assess the stress status of the students; some were designed to study studentsâ€™ perception of E-learning. Data was represented as the percentage distribution of response for each question.
Results: Ninety five responses were received, after accounting for exclusion factors; data was compiled for 91 respondents. Out of the 91 participants in the study, 48.4% were males (n=44) and 51.6% were females (n=47). Most of the students in this study (84.6%) felt that online teaching had helped in learning Physiology theory; around 43% students found online practical teaching useful. Around 39% students have reported internet connectivity issues all the time while 59% faced problem sometimes. Total 51.6% of students had difficulty in accessibility to devices. Due to coronavirus pandemic, 37.4% of students have reported to be under stress. Around 33% reported feeling unsafe all the time while 39.5% felt unsafe some of the times.
Conclusion: Students found online teaching more helpful in learning Physiology theory than practical. Majority of class reported internet connectivity issues. All the responders agreed that this pandemic affected their regular life. Most of the students felt that online classes have helped them to remain positive and motivated towards study.