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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 105-110

Assessment of mental health in indian medical students during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic

1 Department of Pathology, Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pathology, Shri M. P. Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sharmila Dudani
7/41, Vikram Vihar, 3rd Floor, Lajpat Nagar-4, New Delhi - 110 024
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_166_20

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Context: Medical students are more anxious and depressed than their peers, and the prevalence of various mental health problems is on the rise. The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had far-reaching psychosocial consequences on the Indian population. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the mental health status of Indian medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Settings and Design: A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study of medical students from across India. Methodology: The general health questionnaire with 28 items (GHQ-28) was adapted to GoogleForms® and circulated extensively to medical students in various colleges across India among the nationwide lockdown that began from March 22, 2020. A total of 1000 responses were collected for a period of 1 month from May 12 to June 11. Other questions included uncertainty due to the pandemic about one's career as a medical student, satisfaction with the field of medicine, the year of training, and how long the student believed the effects of the pandemic would last. Statistical Analysis Used: A Chi-square test was applied to compare the proportions, and Mann-Whitney U or Kruskal–Wallis test was used to compare the continuous variables between the groups. Results: A total of 60.3% (57.2–63.2) of students had GHQ-28 scores above the cutoff of >23 and had mental health problems. Female sex, smoking, alcohol, dissatisfaction with medicine, and uncertainty due to the pandemic were associated with mental distress. GHQ-28 scores increased uniformly with the year of training of the student, except in the case of IInd year, where scores were the least. Similar trends existed for the somatic, anxiety, social-dysfunction, and depression score components of the GHQ-28. Conclusions: Mental health issues are very common among medical students, particularly now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early identification along with guidance and counselling is essential for all-round development of medical professionals.

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