Journal of Pharmacy And Bioallied Sciences

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 696--698

Knowledge, attitude, and psychological effect on undergraduate/postgraduate students in Lockdown COVID-19 situation


Santosh Kumar Verma1, Barun Dev Kumar2, Subhash Chandra2, Neha Singh1, Priyanka Kumari1, Abhishek Verma3,  
1 Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Dental Institute, RIMS, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
2 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Dental Institute, RIMS, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
3 Department of Peridontology and Oral Implantology, Buddha Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Patna, Bihar, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Dental Institute, RIMS, Ranchi, Jharkhand
India

Abstract

Background: Student psychological health has been an increasing concern. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has brought this vulnerable population into renewed focus. Objective: Our study aims to conduct a timely assessment of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of college graduates and postgraduates. Methodology: We conducted online survey with 550 students to understand the effects of the pandemic on their psychology and well-being. The data were analyzed through quantitative and qualitative methods. Results: Of the 550 students, 138 (71%) indicated increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak. When asked about how the lockdown in COVID-19 situation affecting them, 97% said that it is severely affecting them. When asked about what the problems do you faced during online class, 5% said the Internet, 83.8% said noninteractive, and 11.2% said lack of explanatory mediums. When asked about number of hours spent on the Internet, 100% said more than 10 h. When asked about the activities to keep yourself busy during lockdown in COVID-19 situation, 37% said social media followed by 23% who mentioned cooking. Conclusion: Due to the long-lasting pandemic situation and onerous measures such as lockdown and stay-at-home orders, the COVID-19 pandemic brings negative impacts on education. The findings of our study highlight the urgent need to develop interventions and preventive strategies to address the psychological health of college students.



How to cite this article:
Verma SK, Kumar BD, Chandra S, Singh N, Kumari P, Verma A. Knowledge, attitude, and psychological effect on undergraduate/postgraduate students in Lockdown COVID-19 situation.J Pharm Bioall Sci 2021;13:696-698


How to cite this URL:
Verma SK, Kumar BD, Chandra S, Singh N, Kumari P, Verma A. Knowledge, attitude, and psychological effect on undergraduate/postgraduate students in Lockdown COVID-19 situation. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jul 2 ];13:696-698
Available from: https://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2021/13/5/696/317713


Full Text



 Introduction



The pandemic of COVID-19 has put up leaders in politics and at universities to take drastic measures that affect how citizens and students interact and socialize with each other. Throughout the globe, individuals are required to reduce physical contact to others outside one's household (social distancing).[1] As many universities suspended classroom teaching and switched to online teaching, the lives of students have changed drastically. While social distancing measures may successfully slow down the spread of the infection and relieve the public health systems,[2] they may eventually increase the social isolation of students and affect their psychological well-being and mental health.[3],[4] The social networks of students have been argued to be an important factor in buffering stress and helping them to be more effective.[5] Reduced social interactions, a lack of social support, and newly arising stressors associated with the COVID-19 crisis could potentially affect students' mental health negatively. In line with other ongoing research studies conducted across the globe, we examine the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on a student population.[6],[7],[8],[9]

 Methodology



The study included 550 undergraduate/postgraduate college students in Bihar and Jharkhand, India, using convenience sampling method. Participants' inclusion criteria were university/college/junior college students who lived in Bihar and Jharkhand and could read and understand Hindi or English. Due to the emergency and particular period, we adopted a convenience sampling. Young adults in the age group of 18–23 years were included in the study sample. A pilot study was not done. The questionnaire consisted of 16 questions regarding COVID-19 and was prepared by the authors. The content and construct validity were checked with four subject experts. The questionnaire was circulated by means of Google Docs among the study participants, and the data were collected during a 1-week period. The link was sent to 550 undergraduate/postgraduate students belonging to different colleges and courses and university colleges of Bihar and Jharkhand. A total of 550 students responded and filled out the questionnaire. This may be due to the sharing of the link among their friends. All the 550 responses were considered in this study. The data obtained from the study were compiled and statistically analyzed using SPSS software version 20 (IBM, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.).

 Results



The majority of the participants were female (76%) in the age range of 18–23 years (mean age, 20.75 ± 1.80 years). Approximately 99% had awareness regarding COVID-19, and the majority of them got to know about it through social media 82%, followed by television 79%, friends/families 64%, and newspaper 31%. The government has recently introduced caller tunes on coronavirus awareness. It was shown through this survey that only four students got to know about this virus through caller tunes. Regarding symptoms related to COVID-19 and how the infection spreads, a total of 93% of the students were aware of that. When asked about how the lockdown in COVID-19 situation affecting them, 97% said that it is severely affecting them. When asked about what the problems do you faced during online class, 5% said the Internet, 83.8% said noninteractive, and 11.2% said lack of explanatory mediums. When asked about number of hours spent on the Internet, 100% said more than 10 h. When asked about the two biggest worries during lockdown COVID-19 situation, majority 43% said infection to COVID-19/death and loneliness was mentioned by 15% of the participants [Table 1] and 86.2% said that they miss eating outside followed by hanging out friends. When asked about the activities to keep yourself busy during lockdown in COVID-19 situation, 37% said social media followed by 23% who mentioned cooking [Table 2].{Table 1}{Table 2}

 Discussion



Our study results indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic was a stress inducer for academics, with 97% having severe COVID-19-related traumatic stress. Similar results were recently found in other studies, which evaluated the mental health of university students during COVID-19 in China[2] and Spain[3] and reported anxiety, stress, and depression. These psychological responses are more likely to occur and worsen due to the lack of interpersonal communication during the social distancing.[4],[5] In addition, distance learning was also found to be associated with stress, which is due to academic, financial, and social difficulties.[6] Coping with the online mode might become a challenge for students. This includes students' ability to deal with technology, sufficient home resources facilitating online learning, or stable Internet connection.[7],[8] Previous studies regarding mental health during the pandemic have studied general populations in other regions of the world.[9],[10] The outbreak of the virus and the implementation of sudden control measures may cause excessive fear and social isolation, while the lack of infectious disease knowledge can foster widespread panic.[11] The novelty of the virus itself and the unpredictability and uncertainty of when the situation will be entirely controlled has put people under excessive stress, especially when social face-to-face interactions are lost.[12] Patients infected by the virus or who are suspected to have contracted the illness experience the fear of its potential fatality.[13] In our study, postgraduate students scored significantly higher in terms of levels of stress compared to graduate students. This is most likely because postgraduate students are emerging adults who pursue identity exploration, work toward independence, and have different roles to fulfill.[14] Other sources of stress include the frequency of and performance on examinations, broad curriculums, parental pressure, loneliness, and worrying about the future. Finally, female students reported significantly higher levels of stress, which may be due to female participants representing the majority of the samples. However, similar results were reported in previous related surveys.[5],[12],[13],[14] High levels of stress among females have been attributed to various factors, including hormonal changes and expression of emotions and thoughts regarding their social situation. This study has certain limitations. It mainly adopts a convenience sampling method, which is a nonrandom and nonprobability selection. Recruitment bias may have occurred, sampling error could not be calculated, as well as the response rate, and the anonymity of participants to each other may have been violated. The samples were limited in number, and they exhibited imbalances in the subgroups. Thus, the results may not sufficiently represent the whole population of Bihar and Jharkhand university students.

 Conclusion



This study showed high levels of stress among students during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is most likely due to the mandatory curfew and distance learning. Online stress management programs are recommended to improve stress and coping strategies, as well as prevent further psychological consequences. Further studies are necessary to conduct longitudinal assessments of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, to produce evidence-based mental health interventions during crises. Furthermore, as this is the first survey on the psychological impact of COVID-19 on graduate and postgraduate students, these results could be used as a baseline to investigate the stressors and the extent of their impact.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Ammar N, Aly NM, Folayan MO, Khader Y, Virtanen JI, Al-Batayneh OB, et al. Behavior change due to COVID-19 among dental academics – The theory of planned behavior: Stresses, worries, training, and pandemic severity. PLoS ONE 2020;15:e0239961.
2Cao W, Fang Z, Hou G, Han M, Xu X, Dong J, et al. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry Res 2020;287:112934.
3Odriozola-González P, Planchuelo-Gómez Á, Irurtia MJ, de Luis-García R. Psychological effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown among students and workers of a Spanish university. Psychiatry Res 2020;290:113108.
4Xiao C. A novel approach of consultation on 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)-related psychological and mental problems: Structured letter therapy. Psychiatry Investig 2020;17:175-6.
5Kmietowicz Z. Rules on isolation rooms for suspected covid-19 cases in GP surgeries to be relaxed. BMJ 2020;368:m707.
6Kwaah CY, Essilfie G. Stress and coping strategies among distance education students at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Turk Online J Dist Educ 2017;18:120-34.
7Sahu P. Closure of universities due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on Education and mental health of students and academic staff. Cureus 2020;12:e7541.
8Zhang J, Wu W, Zhao X, Zhang W. Recommended psychological crisis intervention response to the 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in China: A model of West China Hospital. Precis Clin Med 2020;3:3-8.
9Zandifar A, Badrfam R. Iranian mental health during the COVID-19 epidemic. Asian J Psychiatr 2020;51:101990.
10Xiang YT, Yang Y, Li W, Zhang L, Zhang Q, Cheung T, et al. Timely mental health care for the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak is urgently needed. Lancet Psychiatry 2020;7:228-9.
11Arnett JJ. Emerging adulthood. A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. Am Psychol 2000;55:469-80.
12Shah M, Hasan S, Malik S, Sreeramareddy CT. Perceived stress, sources and severity of stress among medical undergraduates in a Pakistani medical school. BMC Med Educ 2010;10:2.
13Rosen S, Mouzon D, Aneshensel CS, Phelan JC, Bierman A, editors. Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health. Dordrecht: Springer; 2013. p. 277-96.
14Goldstein JM, Jerram M, Poldrack R, Ahern T, Kennedy DN, Seidman LJ, et al. Hormonal cycle modulates arousal circuitry in women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. J Neurosci 2005;25:9309-16.