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Mental health issues among college students is a leading public health concern, which seems to have been exacerbating during the COVID-19 pandemic. While previous estimates related to psychological burden among college students are available, quantitative synthesis of available data still needs to be performed. Therefore, this meta-analysis endeavors to present collective evidence discussing the psychological impact of COVID-19 among college students. Bibliographical library databases, including Embase, Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, and PsycINFO, were systematically searched for relevant studies. Titles, abstracts, and full articles were screened, and two reviewers extracted data. Heterogeneity was assessed by I-2 statistic. The random-effects model was utilized to obtain the pooled estimates of psychological indicators among college students. Location, gender, level of severity, and quality scores were used as moderator variables for subgroup analyses. Funnel plot and Egger linear regression test was used to assess publication bias. Twenty-seven studies constituting 90,879 college students met the inclusion criteria. The results indicated 39.4% anxiety (95% CI: 28.6, 51.3; I-2 = 99.8%; p-value < 0.0001) and 31.2% depression (95% CI: 19.7, 45.6; I-2= 99.8%, p < 0.0001) among college students. The pooled prevalence of stress (26.0%), post-traumatic stress disorder (29.8%), and impaired sleep quality (50.5%) were also reported. College students bear a disproportionate burden of mental health problems worldwide, with females having higher anxiety and depression levels than males. This study''s findings underscore the need to develop appropriate public health interventions to address college students' emotional and psychosocial needs. The policies should be reflective of demographic and socioeconomic differentials.
COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; Anxiety; Depression; Stress; Suicidal ideation; Students
Health Policy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences
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Singh, T. P.,
Assessing the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 among College Students: An Evidence of 15 Countries.