Psychological evaluation of medical students under quarantine

Jaiswal Bhumika, Sushil Gawande, Abhijeet Faye, Vivek Kirpekar, Sudhir Bhave, Rahul Tadke


Background: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was firstly detected in Wuhan in December 2019 and began to spread rapidly throughout the world. India took the decision of national lockdown on March 25. Lockdown and social distancing are essential to break the cycle of infection. COVID 19 has caused severe threats to the lives and physical health of people around the globe, in addition psychological problems like anxiety, depression, panic disorder has been progressively increasing. Study aimed at assessment of psychological problems in medical students under quarantine and psychological problems among quarantine students with respect to age, gender and psychological symptoms in past 
Materials and Methods: After the permission from Institutional ethics Committee, about 119 students who were quarantined before joining respective departments were taken for study. Each participant after informed consent has been individually interviewed telephonically along with the special semi-structured proforma prepared for the study. Clinical data collected. After application of rating scales HAM-A & HAM-D to each individual results are obtained.
Results: The survey is completed with total 119 students, belonged to  NKPSIMS & LMH Nagpur. Out of total n=119, 62 were males (52.10%) and 57 were females (47.90%). Only 18 (15.13%) subjects had presenting complaints with mean age of 24.34 1.12 years (Range 21 -27) with mean duration of
quarantine 8.66 2.59 days (Range 4 -14) with mean duration of complaints 9.34 months (Range 1 week -6 years). 61 students were of Medical (51.26%), 5 students were of Dental (4.20%), 19 of Physiotherapy (15.97%) and 34 were of Nursing (28.57%). % out of 119, 9 had Past history of psychiatric illness 9/119 = 7.56 %. Out of 119, total 18 students had anxiety symptoms (14.29%) (95% CI:8.55-21.88%) and total 9 students had depression symptoms (7.56%) (95% CI:3.52– 13.87%) with majority of students had milder form of anxiety and depression with 12.65% and 5.88% respectively whereas only 1.68% and 0.84% had moderate intensity respectively.
Conclusion: Mild form of both anxiety and depression is prevalent .Psychological symptoms are strongly correlated with the past history of psychiatric illness. Students who have past history of psychological illness are more prone for psychological distress during quarantine period of COVID lockdown. Age was not found to be significantly associated with either anxiety or depression. Prevalence of anxiety and depression is not affected gender and profession.

Keywords: COVID-19, The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD).

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