Anxiety and depression symptoms in university students from public institutions of higher education in Brazil during the covid-19 pandemic: a multicenter study
Keywords:Mental health, covid-19, Anxiety, Depression, Students, Multicenter study
Background: Anxiety and depression can affect university students at any stage of their academic life. Studies that assessed the prevalence of mental disorders during remote teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic are scarce in Brazil. Objective: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression and their relationship with sociodemographic characteristics among university students from the Federal Institutions of Higher Education (IFES) in the Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Trata-se de um estudo multicêntrico, transversal, realizado com alunos regularmente matriculados em cursos de graduação de oito IFES brazilian. Data collection was conducted between October 2021 and February 2022 using an online self-completed questionnaire, which addressed sociodemographic and academic characteristics, lifestyle habits, and health conditions. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Variables were analyzed descriptively using frequency distribution and Pearson’s chi-square test. To estimate the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression, the proportion and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were used. The level of adopted statistical significance was 5%. Results: A total of 8.650 students participated, and most of them were women, white, heterosexual, cisgender, unmarried, (mean age of 23.9 years (SD: ± 6.34), and living with family members. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were observed in 59.7% (95%CI: 58.7–60.7) and 63.0% (95%CI: 62.0–64.0) of the students, respectively. These symptoms were associated with sex, age, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, education of the head of the family, family income, decrease in income during the pandemic, and area of knowledge. Conclusion: Most university students showed symptoms of anxiety and depression during the suspension of face-to-face activities in universities, indicating the need for institutional actions and public policies aimed at promoting the health and mental well-being of students in universities.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Bruna Carolina Rafael Barbosa, Waléria de Paula, Aline Dayrell Ferreira, Eulilian Dias de Freitas, Carolina Martins dos Santos Chagas, Helian Nunes de Oliveira, Lívia Garcia Ferreira, Luciana Saraiva da Silva, Fernanda de Carvalho Vidigal, Luciana Neri Nobre, Elaine Leandro Machado, Clareci Silva Cardoso, Adriana Lúcia Meireles
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais
Grant numbers N. CDS - APQ-01089- 18;nº. 8288757/2019