Mental Health Status of University Students and Working Professionals during the Early Stage of COVID-19 in Bangladesh

Patwary, Muhammad M., Bardhan, Mondira, Disha, Asma S., Kabir, Md Pervez, Hossain, Md Riad, Alam, Md Ashraful, Haque, Md Zahidul, Billah, Sharif M., Browning, Matthew H. E. M., Kabir, Russell, Swed, Sarya and Shoib, Sheikh (2022) Mental Health Status of University Students and Working Professionals during the Early Stage of COVID-19 in Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (11). p. 6834. ISSN 1660-4601

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A novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 has spread globally and brought a public health emergency to all nations. To respond to the pandemic, the Bangladesh Government imposed a nationwide lockdown that may have degraded mental health among residents, in particular, university students and working professionals. We examined clinically significant anxiety levels with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scale and perceived stress levels with the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4) in an online cross-sectional study with 744 adults. Approximately 70% of respondents were afflicted with clinically significant anxiety levels, and more than 43.82% were afflicted with moderate or high perceived stress levels. Multivariate logistic regression models showed that postgraduates (OR = 2.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03–8.75, p < 0.05) were more likely to experience anxiety than their student counterparts. No such differences emerged for working professionals, however. Living with family members compared to living alone was a risk factor for perceived stress among working professionals (OR = 4.05, 95% CI = 1.45–11.32, p < 0.05). COVID-19 stressors such as financial hardship (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.11–3.05, p < 0.05) and worries of family members’ health (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.12–2.99) were risk factors for anxiety among students. Questionable social media news exposure (OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.13–7.92, p < 0.05) contributed to the development of mental stress among working professionals. These findings confirm that effective initiatives and proactive efforts from concerned authorities are necessary to cope with the mental health correlates of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in developing contexts such as Bangladesh.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, university students, working professionals, Bangladesh
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
COVID-19 Research Collection
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 09:41
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 09:41

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