PERCEPTION AND THE ASSOCIATED APPREHENSION STEMMING FROM NOVEL COVID-19 AMONG PAKISTANI STUDENTS
Objective: To highlight Pakistani Students anxieties and their attitude towards the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and to bring forth this data for better policy revisions in the country.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Different cities of Pakistan, from May to May 2020.
Methodology: A structured self-administered questionnaire was prepared, based on other surveys conducted in the past. Questionnaire was made available online and shared across social media sites with students. All students of Colleges and Universities who had access to internet were included in the study.
Results: Total study population was 731 students. We found that around 320 (44%) of students felt anxious daily due to COVID-19 while 438 (60%) of them were not content with the current measures to stop the spread of the virus. 636 (87%) of the students feared for the health of their family members while 584 (80%) felt anxious for their academic future due to the unprecedent circumstances created by the disease. 387 (53%) had decided not to go to hospitals in case of any illness other than COVID-19. Approximately 400 (55%) believed that the situation was worse than actually being portrayed. Females generally were found to be more anxious than males regarding their health and health of their family members (p-value 0.001 and 0.003 respectively).
Conclusion: There is a dire need of establishing mental health services in educational institutions. Despite the students’ generally correct approach towards curbing the spread of COVID-19, they are still much apprehensive regarding the situation surrounding the pandemic due to the disturbance of their academic and everyday life.