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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Depressive symptoms in Swiss university students during the COVID-19 pandemic and their correlates
Authors: Volken, Thomas
Zysset, Annina
Amendola, Simone
Klein Swormink, Anthony
Huber, Marion
von Wyl, Agnes
Dratva, Julia
et. al: No
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18041458
Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume(Issue): 18
Issue: 4
Page(s): 1458
Issue Date: 5-Feb-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: MDPI
ISSN: 1660-4601
Language: English
Subjects: COVID-19; PHQ-9; Depression; Health survey; Mental health; Pandemic; Students; Young adult
Subject (DDC): 305: Groups (age, origine, gender, income)
616.8: Neurology, diseases of nervous system
Abstract: COVID-19 containment measures and the uncertainties associated with the pandemic may have contributed to changes in mental health risks and mental health problems in university students. Due to the high burden of the disease, depression is of particular concern. However, knowledge about the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Swiss university students during the pandemic is limited. We therefore assessed the prevalence of depressive symptoms and their change during the COVID-19 pandemic in a large sample of Swiss university students. Methods: We assessed depressive symptoms in two cross-sectional cohorts of university students (n = 3571) in spring and autumn 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and compared them with a matched sample of the Swiss national population (n = 2328). Binary logistic regression models estimated prevalence with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results: Adjusted prevalence of depressive symptoms in female (30.8% (95% CI: 28.6–33.0)) and male students (24.8% (95% CI: 21.7–28.1)) was substantially higher than in the matching female (10.9% (95% CI: 8.9–13.2)) and male (8.5% (6.6–11.0)) pre-pandemic national population. Depressive symptoms in the two consecutive student cohorts did not significantly differ. Conclusions: More than a quarter of Swiss university students reported depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was substantially higher as compared to the matched general population. Universities should introduce measures to support students in such times of crisis and gain an understanding of the factors impacting mental health positively or negatively and related to university structures and procedures.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Applied Psychology
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Health (IPH)
Psychological Institute (PI)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Gesundheit von Studierenden in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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