Impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on French Health students - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles L'Encéphale Year : 2022

Impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on French Health students


Context: In France, care workers and health students have been intensely mobilized during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But few studies have evaluated psychological distress on non-medical health students, in addition to the challenges posed by pedagogical continuity while universities are closed following health and safety regulations. Objectives: This study aims to assess COVID-19's impact on health students in France on different levels: psychological, educational and social. Methods: An online national cross-sectional study, from April 11 to May 30 2020, included sociodemographic, work conditions and numeric scales. Results: A total of 4411 students answered. Regarding the K6 scale, 39% of students had moderate distress, and 21% had a high level of distress. Risk factors of psychological distress included being a woman (P<0.001), being between 19 and 21 years old (P<0.001), living alone (P=0.008), and not having the ability to isolate (P<0.001). Students on the frontline had less psychological distress (57 vs 62%, P=0.003), better quality of sleep (34% vs 28% high quality, P<0.001) but a higher consumption of medical (8.5% vs 6.5%, P=0.044) and non-medical (18% vs 10%, P<0.001) psychotropic drugs. Nurse and medical students had more distress and used more non-medical psychotropic substances than other health students (15% vs 9.2%). Discussion: COVID-19' crisis had an important impact on health students' mental health, social life and training with discrepancies regarding the speciality whether they were on the frontline or not. There is an urgent need for psychological and pedagogical support for students, and even more so regarding the prolongation of the COVID-19 epidemic.
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inserm-03684445 , version 1 (01-06-2022)



Franck Rolland, Ariel Frajerman, Bruno Falissard, Gilles Bertschy, Bertrand Diquet, et al.. Impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on French Health students. L'Encéphale, 2022, pp.S0013-7006(22)00035-5. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2021.12.004⟩. ⟨inserm-03684445⟩
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