Psychological effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown among students and workers of a Spanish university.Psychiatry Res. 2020 08; 290:113108.PR
The aim of this study was to analyze the psychological impact of COVID-19 in the university community during the first weeks of confinement. A cross-sectional study was conducted. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) was employed to assess symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. The emotional impact of the situation was analyzed using the Impact of Event Scale. An online survey was fulfilled by 2530 members of the University of Valladolid, in Spain. Moderate to extremely severe scores of anxiety, depression, and stress were reported by 21.34%, 34.19% and 28.14% of the respondents, respectively. A total of 50.43% of respondents presented moderate to severe impact of the outbreak. Students from Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences & Law showed higher scores related to anxiety, depression, stress and impact of event with respect to students from Engineering & Architecture. University staff presented lower scores in all measures compared to students, who seem to have suffered an important psychological impact during the first weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. In order to provide timely crisis-oriented psychological services and to take preventive measures in future pandemic situations, mental health in university students should be carefully monitored.