Impact of COVID-19 on medical students' mental wellbeing in Jordan.
PloS one. 2021;(6):e0253295
COVID-19 has spread throughout the world and has resulted in significant morbidity, mortality, and negative psychological impact. This prospective cross-sectional study is exploring the effect of the pandemic on mental health of medical students. The study was conducted at six Jordanian medical schools using an online survey to collect students' socio-demographic and academic data. Assessment of mental wellbeing status was done using Kessler's psychological stress scale (K10); the impact of COVID-19 on life activities and strategies followed to manage the situation were also examined. A total of 553 medical students were recruited for the study. Men constituted 40.1%, and women were 59.9%. Students reported that COVID-19 has affected the aspects of physical fitness (73.1%), study (68.4%), and social relationships (65.6%) the most. Sixty-six percent of the students were concerned about family members' affection, and more than half (58.4%) explained their concerns about the inability to get clinical sessions and labs. Cooking, baking, and hobby practicing were the most popular methods to improve their mental wellbeing. About half of the participants had a severe mental disorder, and only 13.2% were likely to be well. The study indicates that half of our medical students suffer severe mental disorders, with physical fitness, exercise, and studying being among the most affected aspects during the COVID 19 pandemic. It is recommended that measures need be taken to alleviate students' stress, which might have deleterious effects in many aspects.
Mindfulness Effects in Obstetric and Gynecology Patients During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Obstetrics and gynecology. 2021;(6):1032-1040
OBJECTIVE To assess the effect of a consumer-based mobile meditation application (app) on wellness in outpatient obstetric and gynecology patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS We conducted a randomized controlled trial at a university outpatient clinic of obstetric and gynecology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women were randomly assigned to the intervention group, who was prescribed a mobile meditation app for 30 days, or the control group, which received standard care. The primary outcome was self-reported perceived stress. Secondary outcomes included self-reported depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and satisfaction with the meditation app. A sample size of 80 participants (40 per group) was calculated to achieve 84% power to detect a 3-point difference in the primary outcome. RESULTS From April to May 2020, 101 women were randomized in the study-50 in the meditation app group and 51 in the control group. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. Most characteristics were similar between groups. Perceived stress was significantly less in the intervention group at days 14 and 30 (mean difference 4.27, 95% CI 1.30-7.24, P=.005, d=0.69 and mean difference 4.28, 95% CI 1.68-6.88, P=.002, d=0.69, respectively). Self-reported depression and anxiety were significantly less in the intervention group at days 14 and 30 (depression: P=.002 and P=.04; anxiety: P=.01, and P=.04, respectively). Sleep disturbance was significantly less in the intervention group at days 14 and 30 (P=.001 and P=.02, respectively). More than 80% of those in the intervention group reported high satisfaction with the meditation app, and 93% reported that mindfulness meditation improved their stress. CONCLUSION Outpatient obstetric and gynecology patients who used the prescribed consumer-based mobile meditation app during the COVID-19 pandemic had significant reductions in perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance compared with standard care. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04329533.
Mindfulness and Shinrin-Yoku: Potential for Physiological and Psychological Interventions during Uncertain Times.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(24)
Mindfulness and Shinrin-yoku (SY) translated as forest bathing, is potentially effective to alleviate mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The purpose of this article is to provide a translational and pragmatic approach to understanding mindfulness in the context of SY and psychological wellbeing through a rapid review of the literature. The background of mindfulness and SY practice are discussed and the emotional, neuroendocrine, and neurobiological responses are examined. Next, a rapid review of the literature examined six studies, published between 2010 and 2020 to determine what is known regarding the relationship between SY, mindfulness, and psychological wellbeing. The studies included 21-360 participants with a mean age of 20-55 years. The results demonstrated a significant positive correlation between nature, mindfulness, and measures of psychological wellbeing. During uncertain events, including COVID-19, weaving mindfulness with SY may be specifically important to at-risk groups, those experiencing depression, loneliness, and social isolation, and at-risk populations such as college students, veterans, and professionals with high levels of stress. The goal of this review is to provide a thorough background and support of this cost-effective modality to promote overall psychological wellbeing as a preventative measure to those at risk or experiencing psychological illnesses.
A rapid review of home-based activities that can promote mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PloS one. 2020;(12):e0243125
BACKGROUND During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures such as isolation, quarantine, and social distancing are needed. Some of these measures can adversely affect mental health. Activities that can be performed at home may mitigate these consequences and improve overall mental well-being. In this study, home-based activities that have potential beneficial effects on mental health were examined. METHODS A rapid review was conducted based on a search of the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PyscINFO, Global Health, epistemonikos.org, covid19reviews.org, and eppi.ioe.ac.uk/covid19_map_v13.html. Eligible studies include randomized controlled trials and non-randomized studies published between 1/1/2000 and 28/05/2020 and that examined the impact of various activities on mental health outcomes in low-resource settings and contexts that lead to social isolation. Studies of activities that require mental health professionals or that could not be done at home were excluded. Two review authors performed title/abstract screening. At the full-text review stage, 25% of the potentially eligible studies were reviewed in full by two review authors; the rest were reviewed by one review author. Risk of bias assessment and data extraction were performed by one review author and checked by a second review author. The main outcome assessed was change or differences in mental health as expressed in Cohen's d; analysis was conducted following the synthesis without meta-analysis guidelines (SWiM). PROSPERO registration: CRD42020186082. RESULTS Of 1,236 unique records identified, 160 were reviewed in full, resulting in 16 included studies. The included studies reported on the beneficial effects of exercise, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and listening to relaxing music. One study reported on the association between solitary religious activities and post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. While most of the included studies examined activities in group settings, particularly among individuals in prisons, the activities were described as something that can be performed at home and alone. All included studies were assessed to be at risk of bias in one or more of the bias domains examined. CONCLUSIONS There is some evidence that certain home-based activities can promote mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines are needed to help optimize benefits while minimizing potential risks when performing these activities.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Homebound Nursing Students.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(20)
University students are predisposed to stress, which could be even higher in Nursing students since they are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic given their health training and area of knowledge. Our purpose was to assess the stress levels of Nursing students before and during lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Murcia (Spain), its influence on taking an online exam and how it was affected by physical exercise. This was an observational and prospective study including Nursing students from the second year of the Nursing Degree from 3 February to 23 April 2020. Three measurements were performed: one before lockdown and two during lockdown. Stress increased substantially during lockdown. Financial, family or emotional problems, as well as physical exercise, also increased. Indeed, at 40 days of lockdown, those students with financial, family or emotional problems, and less physical exercise reported significantly higher stress levels. In addition, those who passed the online exam had lower stress levels compared to those who failed. In conclusion, during lockdown, stress in Nursing students increased. This could be triggered by students' personal problems, and physical exercise may be used as a way to reduce stress. Academic performance was better in those students reporting less stress.
Open Burn Pit Exposure and Concern About the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The primary care companion for CNS disorders. 2020;(6)