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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-60

COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath: Knowledge, attitude, behavior, and mental health-care needs of medical undergraduates

1 Department of Psychiatry, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shailaja B
Department of Psychiatry, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College, Ramaiah Nagar, MSRIT Post, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_117_20

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Background: The undeniable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational sector has left the students perplexed and uncertain. Infection-related fears, inevitable loneliness, disturbed routine making way for adverse lifestyle habits, stressors such as financial crisis faced by their families, and many more further accentuate their vulnerability to mental health issues. Aim: The aim was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of medical undergraduate students about the COVID-19 outbreak, and to assess their stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life (QOL). The study also explored the correlation between the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of the medical undergraduate students about the pandemic and their mental health issues. Materials and Methods: An online questionnaire-based survey was carried out on medical undergraduate students. The survey tool comprised a semi-structured proforma; General Health Questionnaire-12 items; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale-21 items; and European Health Interview Survey-Quality of Life-8 items. Results: Nearly 61.8% of the students seemed well read and had good knowledge about the medical aspects of the pressing issue of COVID-19, and majority of the students had adaptive attitudes and behaviors toward the pandemic. Almost 23.2% of the students had depression, 20.7% had anxiety, and 13.0% had stress ranging from mild to extremely severe. Nearly 75.1% of the students experienced changes in appetite and 53.6% had changes in appetite. Nearly half of the students expressed excessive worries regarding studies. The mean score of QOL of students was 3.9 ± 0.6. Students with adaptive attitudes and behavior experienced relatively less severe depression, anxiety, and stress compared to their counterparts. Conclusion: A significant portion of the medical undergraduates are experiencing mental health issues and study related concerns due to the adversity brought by the pandemic. The concerned educational bodies and institutes must take up necessary steps to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic on students.

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