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Article

Assessing the Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 in Undergraduate Medical Students

Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina, Greenville, SC 29605, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrea Fiorillo and Maurizio Pompili
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062952
Received: 1 February 2021 / Revised: 8 March 2021 / Accepted: 10 March 2021 / Published: 13 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
Medical education has been uniquely affected by the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As the pandemic’s psychological impacts on medical students remain unclear, this study assessed COVID-19’s impacts on undergraduate medical students’ stress and anxiety. A nationwide, online survey was administered via email chains between June-August 2020 to first-fourth year medical students in the United States. Demographics, 4-point Perceived Stress Scale that measures stress, 7-point Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale that measures anxiety, and the impacts of social, health, and academic stressors due to COVID-19 were collected. Of the 852 students who participated, 66.1% experienced mild, moderate, or severe anxiety. Mean PSS-4 score was 7.25/16. Stress was highest in second- through fourth-year students. Students with preexisting mental health conditions had significantly higher stress and anxiety scores, and higher percentage of stress attributed to COVID-19. Trust in government institutions during COVID-19 was the highest stressor in first- and second-year students. Delay/availability of standardized exams was the highest stressor for third-year students. Impact on rotations/residencies was the highest stressor for fourth-year students. Understanding how students’ anxiety and stress have changed due to COVID-19 will allow educators to identify students in need and guide recommendations on the implementation of psychological interventions and support strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; undergraduate medical education; stress; anxiety; psychological impacts; mental health COVID-19; undergraduate medical education; stress; anxiety; psychological impacts; mental health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, A.A.; Crum, M.A.; Fowler, L.A. Assessing the Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 in Undergraduate Medical Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2952. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062952

AMA Style

Guo AA, Crum MA, Fowler LA. Assessing the Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 in Undergraduate Medical Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2952. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062952

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guo, Alyssa A., Marissa A. Crum, and Lauren A. Fowler 2021. "Assessing the Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 in Undergraduate Medical Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2952. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062952

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