Depression and Anxiety among Iranian Medical Students during COVID-19 Pandemic

Iran J Psychiatry. 2020 Jul;15(3):228-235. doi: 10.18502/ijps.v15i3.3815.

Abstract

Objective: COVID-19 has spread throughout the world and has become a global pandemic. This situation can cause psychological distress among people, especially health care workers. This study aimed to determine depression and anxiety levels among Iranian medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method : In this cross sectional study, we designed an online survey of Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaires. The survey link was sent to 500 medical clerks and interns studying at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). Results: A total of 64.6% of the students completed the survey. The prevalence of mild to severe anxiety and depression among them was 38.1% and 27.6%, respectively. Anxiety and changes in sleep patterns were the most common symptoms. Higher levels of anxiety were related to female gender, lower grade point average (GPA), and experience of COVID-19 symptoms. Students with lower GPA and prior experience of COVID-19 symptoms were more likely to feel depressed. Conclusion: Depression and anxiety did not significantly differ among Iranian medical students before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Somatic symptoms of depression are more common during this pandemic and need particular attention in future similar situations. A higher GPA is related to lower anxiety and depression among medical students.

Keywords: Anxiety; Coronavirus; Depression; Medical; Pandemics; Students.