COVID-19 Pandemic Effect on Psychological Status and Perception towards the Medical Profession among Haryana’s First Year MBBS Students: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Meenakshi Puri,
4a, Chaman Garden, Railway Road, Karnal-132001, Haryana, India.
Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as a major health crisis throughout the world. In order to control the spread of disease in India, the Central Government imposed a nationwide lockdown. The ongoing spread of the pandemic, strict lockdown measures and delay in the opening of educational institutions in the country are expected to affect the mental health of medical college students too. In order to help and guide the students, we should first be aware of the magnitude of the problem faced by medical students due to the pandemic. For this purpose, this study was conducted online.
Aim: To assess the effect of the pandemic on the psychological status of the students and their perception towards medical profession.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted by the Department of Biochemistry of Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, Haryana, India from 22nd May 2020 to 5th June 2020, among 538 first year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students from several Government and Government aided medical schools in the state of Haryana after obtaining ethical clearance. The detailed questionnaire, a study consisting of sections on the current status in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, perception towards medical profession and psychological status. It was posted online on social media platforms and the responses were collected within 15 days of posting. The psychological status was assessed based on a 21 item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square test, using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 software.
Results: Out of 538 student’s responses, it shows that 19.1% (n=103) of students experienced moderate stress, probably because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the effect it had on the social and academic aspects of their lives. About 11.5% (n=62) of students had a moderate level of anxiety, and 16.9% (n=91) had experienced moderate depression during the ongoing pandemic.
Conclusion: The study demonstrates various factors, like interruptions in regular studies, social distancing, fear of infection, fear of losing a loved one, and worry about the completion of the syllabus and examinations, all cause stress and anxiety in students.