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Psychological impact of self-quarantine on malaysian dental students during COVID-19 pandemic


1 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Penang International Dental College, Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia
2 UG Dental Student, Penang International Dental College, Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Fawaz Shamim Siddiqui,
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Penang International Dental College, Level 18, NB Tower, Jalan Bagan Luar, 12000, Butterworth, Penang
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_34_21

Background: Pandemics harm mental health by inducing stressors such as frustration, boredom, financial loss, self-isolation, fear of infection, and stigmatization. Students are vulnerable and at risk of ill effects of these stressors. Aim: The objective of this study was to determine the mental health status and associated social risk factors among dental students in Malaysia during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Materials and Methods: This was an online cross-sectional study done using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 questionnaire. The study was carried among the undergraduate dental students in Malaysia, during the period of compulsory self-quarantine. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress (DAS) and their median scores were computed and analyzed with sociodemographic factors using Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis test, odds ratio, and Chi-square test. Results: The prevalence of DAS was 33.5%, 28.7%, and 7.3%, respectively, with no gender differences. Depression increased with increasing age (P = 0.043) and year of study (P = 0.015). The prevalence of depression was the highest in the students of Indian ethnicity (44%; P = 0. 018). Students from public universities reported a higher prevalence of anxiety (34%; P = 0.019) and stress scores (P = 0.013). A family's financial crisis increased the risk of DAS (P < 0.05). Being quarantined with family increased the odds of anxiety by 2.8 times (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Students were found to be vulnerable to the negative psychological impact of self-quarantine as measured by their mental health status. The study also identified demographic and social risk factors contributing toward this vulnerability.


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    -  Qian GY
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