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Effects of COVID-19 Restrictions on University Students Mental Health

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posted on 2021-11-17, 18:17 authored by Collateral GlobalCollateral Global
Restrictions affecting mental health and wellbeing can significantly affect vulnerable populations that include university students. Therefore, we undertook a scoping review by searching LitCovid, the WHO Covid-19 database, Google Scholar and bibliographies of retrieved articles for systematic reviews that included data on depression and anxiety in university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found nine systematic reviews (two were preprints) that varied from five included studies to 89. The quality of the short-term evidence was rated low to moderate, and evidence for the medium to long term impact was low (the prevalence estimates may change substantially if further high-quality evidence becomes available).

Reviews consistently reported high prevalence rates of anxiety and depression amongst university and college students. Rates of depression and anxiety were higher in those with financial difficulties, in non-Chinese students, in older students and females. In the most extensive review to date the pooled prevalence of depression was 34% (95%CI: 30-38%, 52 studies, n=1,277,755, I2 100%). The prevalence of anxiety was 32% (95% CI: 26-38%, 69 studies I2 100%). Also, anxiety was found at higher rates in older students, in those living alone, and in female students. Only one review concluded the evidence does not suggest a widespread negative effect on mental health in COVID-19 compared with previous years.

The overall impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of university students is substantial.


Full Report - Effects of COVID-19 Restrictions on University Students Mental Health


Figure 1. PRISMA Flow Chart

Figure 2. Included Reviews

Figure 3. Deng 2021 Results


Table 1. Review Populations and Impacts


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