Psychological impact of COVID-19 and lock down measures: An online cross-sectional multicounty study on Asian university students

Karuthan Chinna, Sheela Sundarasen, Heba Bakr Khoshaim, Kamilah Kamaludin, Mohammad Nurunnabi, Gul Mohammad Baloch, Syed Far Abid Hossain, Areej Sukayt, Nevi Dalina, Usha Rajagopalan, Ramesh Kumar, Zahid Memon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures have taken a toll on every level of the society, worldwide. This study examines their psychological impact on university students in Asia. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted between April and May 2020 in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, India and Indonesia. The Zung's self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and questions on adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies were used in this study. A total of 3,679 students from the seven countries participated in this study. Overall, 21.9% and 13.7% of the students in this study experienced mild to moderate and severe to extreme levels of anxiety. More than 20% of the students from China and Bangladesh reported severe to extreme level of anxiety compared to below 10% of the students from Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Among the female students, 15.9% experienced severe to extreme level of anxiety compared to 10.6% among the males. Females from Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia experienced significantly higher levels of anxiety compared to their male counterparts. Acceptance was the most used and Seeking Social Support was the least used coping strategies among the students. There were significant differences in the usage of the four strategies by countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0253059
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number8 August
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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