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Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms and depressive symptoms among Bangladeshi students during COVID-19 mandatory home confinement: A nationwide cross-sectional survey

03, June 2020 | Bangladesh

Authors:

Sultana M.S. Khan A.H. Hossain S. Ansar A. Sikder M.T. Hasan M.T.

Abstract


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought not only the risk of infection but also unbearable mental health difficulties with the concern of educational loss among students. This study explored the adverse impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Bangladeshi students’ mental health and detected potential influencing factors related to post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and depressive symptoms. Convenience sampling was applied to collect data via online survey from 3997 college and university students between 29th May and 22nd July 2020. PHQ-9 and IES scales were used to assess depressive symptoms and PTSS, respectively. Of all participants, 52.87% had depressive symptoms and 40.91% had PTSS. Severe educational disruption was a risk factor for depressive symptoms (AOR = 1.68; 95% CI: 1.37–2.06) and PTSS (AOR = 1.86; 95% CI: 1.51–2.29). COVID-19 like symptoms including fever, cough, breathing difficulty and fatigue showed a stronger association with higher IES and PHQ-9 scores than other symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, sore throat) (p ≤ 0.01). Fear of infection and death by COVID-19 were risk factors for PTSS and depressive symptoms (p ≤ 0.01). Recreational activity and regular physical exercise emerged as the most protective factors for depressive symptoms and PTSS. The mental health of students is significantly affected in this pandemic suggesting the need for adequate psychological support.