Mental Health during the First-Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Examining Perceived Stress among Qatar University Students
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic had a global impact on many different levels including but not limited to economic, morbidity, social… and mental health. Hence, a lot of focus was given to research mental health aspect of the pandemic especially among young adults and university students. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess whether or not students at the Qatar University perceived stress significantly experienced an increase in mental health signs and symptoms such as depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study using a web-based survey was conducted among the Qatar University students, using three questionnaires: 1) Sociodemographic questionnaire; 2) Perceived Stress Scale (PSS, to assess perceived stress); and the 3) DASS-21 (to assess symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress). Results: Our results show that perceived stress was a predictor of anxiety, depression and stress following the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic among University students in Qatar. There were no significant differences in the mean scores of depression, anxiety, stress or PSS score between genders, different nationalities, having children, and the university year. Similarly having mental health issues, having a family member with mental health issue, testing positive for COVID-19 and eating habits did not correlate with any of the mental health outcomes (depression, stress, perceived stress and anxiety); only lack of exercise was significantly correlated with depression and anxiety. Conclusion: In conclusion, this study sheds light on the effect of perceived stress on depression, anxiety and stress among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also supports the evidence that University students had high levels of mental health issues during the pandemic and therefore there is a need to develop awareness along with interventions to promote mental wellbeing.