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OBJECTIVE: To identify the stressors related to academic online teaching and the change in social norms during the pandemic and to assess their psychological impact on the medical students.
METHODS: A web based, descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Hazrat Bari Imam Sarkar Medical and Dental College, Islamabad Pakistan over a period of 4 months using an Online questionnaire via Google forms based on Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS21) scale comprising of 21 questions which address the depression, anxiety, and stress related questions. The modified questionnaire also contained open ended questions along with a short questionnaire based on 3 points Likert scale.
RESULTS: Total of 305 subjects participated. Mean (±SD) severity score for Depression, anxiety and stress was 2.02± 1.3, 1.76±1.25 and 1.66±1.15 respectively. Highly significant positive correlation was observed between depression and stress score of subjects and history of COVID-19 infection in an acquaintance (r=0.179, p=<0.01) and (0.132, p=<0.001) respectively; between depression and stress score of subjects and history of acquaintance who expired due to COVID-19 (r=0.198, p<0.01) and s (r=0.25, p<0.01) respectively; distraction during online classes and depression and stress score (r=0.233, p<0.01) and (r=0.236, p<0.01) respectively and worry about effect on clinical skills due to teaching through online sessions and depression (r=0.161,p<0.01) .
CONCLUSION: The stressors related to change in the academic activities and social norms due to SARS-CoV-2 has had significant psychological impact on the mental health of students which requires attention and formal counselling.
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