Xinli Chi 1 , Benjamin Becker 2 , Qian Yu 1 , Peter Willeit 3 , Can Jiao 1 , Liuyue Huang 1 , M. Mahhub Hossain 4 , Igor Grabovac 5 , Albert Yeung 6 , Jingyuan Lin 1 , Nicola Veronese 7 , Jian Wang 8 , Xinqi Zhou 2 , Scott R. Doig 9 , Xiaofeng Liu 1 , Andre F. Carvalho 10 , Lin Yang 11 , 12 , Tao Xiao 1 , Liye Zou 1 , Paolo Fusar-Poli 13 , 14 , Marco Solmi 13 , 15
07 August 2020
To investigate the prevalence and risk factors for poor mental health of Chinese university students during the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Chinese nation-wide on-line cross-sectional survey on university students, collected between February 12 th and 17 th, 2020. Primary outcome was prevalence of clinically-relevant posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Secondary outcomes on poor mental health included prevalence of clinically-relevant anxiety and depressive symptoms, while posttraumatic growth was considered as indicator of effective coping reaction.
Of 2,500 invited Chinese university students, 2,038 completed the survey. Prevalence of clinically-relevant PTSD, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, and post traumatic growth (PTG) was 30.8, 15.5, 23.3, and 66.9% respectively. Older age, knowing people who had been isolated, more ACEs, higher level of anxious attachment, and lower level of resilience all predicted primary outcome (all p < 0.01).
A significant proportion of young adults exhibit clinically relevant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxious or depressive symptoms, but a larger portion of individuals showed to effectively cope with COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions promoting resilience should be provided, even remotely, to those subjects with specific risk factors to develop poor mental health during COVID-19 or other pandemics with social isolation.