Author : Aron, Moses Chicco Banda
Association of perceived isolation and resilience with self-rated mental health among undergraduate medical students in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has devastatingly affected the entire world and destroyed the equilibrium of every sphere of life. Like other groups of people, medical students of Nepal have been facing the conditions of lockdown and social isolation that have arisen because of the pandemic.
Objective: We aimed to see the relationship of perceived isolation and resilience with self-rated mental health among undergraduate medical students in Nepal.
Materials and methods: A web-based online survey was carried out in July 2020 using a semi-structured questionnaire in Google form. Data analysis was performed in SPSS vs 20. Ordered logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the effects of perceived isolation, resilience and background characteristics on self-rated mental health.
Results: Out of 515 participants, 44.9% were male.31.4% reported having fair/poor mental health status and 21.9% reported feeling stressed often due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An increment of 1SD in perceived isolation is associated with about a 5% reduction in the odds of having better mental health (exp (−0.048) = 0.95; p=0.026). Similarly, an increment of 1SD in resilience is associated with about 13% lower odds of having better mental health (exp (−0.149) = 0.862 ; p<0.001).
Conclusion: This study is an early step towards the assessment of perceived isolation and mental health among undergraduate medical students amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. There is a need to conduct regular counselling sessions and strengthen the coping skills of medical students duringthe pandemic.