The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students: a web-based cross-sectional survey
O impacto psicológico do COVID-19 em estudantes universitários: uma pesquisa web-based transversal
Keywords:COVID-19, university students, mental health, psychological impact, / COVID-19, estudantes universitários, saúde mental, impacto psicológico
As the pandemic spread across Europe, universities had to suspend presential classes. By mid-April, a survey was applied to assess University of Algarve (UAlg) students during social distancing and e-learning classes. Participants completed an anonymous web-based survey and the sample included 1,358 students (mean age 23.20 ± 6.92). Results show optimism and solitude were positively correlated with anxiety, sleep, time management, and study conditions. Loneliness was negatively correlated to the variables mentioned above. Contrarily, optimism, and solitude were negatively correlated with preoccupations about isolation/loneliness, stress/anxiety, decrease in academic performance, and decrease in social relationships. These variables were associated positively with loneliness. In addition, loneliness correlated positively with preoccupations in catching COVID-19 and getting sick. The findings suggest that the students who have a higher level of optimism and more often spend time with themselves in a positive way, present better conditions to deal with the pandemic effects.