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STUDENT CONTRIBUTION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-25

Psychological distress among first-year medical students amidst COVID-19-related uncertainty at a medical college in Western India: A cross-sectional study


1 Undergraduate Medical Student, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India

Correspondence Address:
Frederick S Vaz
Department of Community Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim - 403 202, Goa
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/efh.efh_612_20

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Background: The sudden and rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has created fear, worry and uncertainty in the student community. First-year medical students are likely to be doubly affected, for in addition to the stress of adapting to new learning processes, they are also now faced with uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was therefore decided to estimate psychological distress among the 1st-year medical students among the COVID-19 pandemic-related uncertainty. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1st-year medical students studying at a Medical College in western India. Demographic and COVID-19 related data was collected from the students through Google Forms and psychological distress was measured by using the 20 point World Health Organization-Self Reporting Questionnaire (WHO-SRQ 20). The study was approved by the Institutional ethics committee. Informed consent was taken before administering the questionnaire to the study participants. Statistical analysis was conducted using the SPSS statistical software. Results: Prevalence of Psychological distress among the study participants by WHO-SRQ 20 Scale with cut off 7/8 as found to be 25.5%. Worried about themselves contracting COVID-19 Infection (odds ratio [OR]: 3.44; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25–9.42), worried of the adverse financial effect on self and family due to COVID-19 pandemic (OR: 3.01; 95% CI: 1.29–7.04), worried that online mode of learning was putting them at disadvantage compared to traditional Teaching-Learning method (OR: 3.44; 95% CI: 1.25–9.42), and worried about adverse effects on social support due to COVID-19 pandemic (OR: 2.63; 95% CI: 1.27–5.43), were the factors significantly associated with psychological distress among the medical students. Discussion: There is an urgent need to develop a system to render counseling/professional help to all the students in need. This would ensure better mental health and would minimize any adverse academic outcomes among the students due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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