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The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic On the Mental Health of University Students in The Field of Health and Related Factors: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Aim: Measuring the knowledge, attitude, behavior and anxiety of university students, who constitute the majority of the society in Turkey at the onset of the pandemic, is important in protecting public health in the future. We aimed to measure the health students’ knowledge, awareness, behavior, and anxiety about COVID-19 outbreak. Material and Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of 1243 health students. The data were collected through an online questionnaire consisting of three parts: the socio-demographic characteristics; the level of knowledge, awareness, and behaviors about coronaviruses and pandemic, questions to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on their psychological health. GAD-7 scale was used to evaluate the students’ anxiety levels. Results: In this study; 79.60% of students did not attend any training on COVID-19. The students had a high level of knowledge (65.7%). Most of the students stated that outbreak was affected their mental health negatively (73.1%) and some of them named this state as "Coronaphobia"(33.2%). Students had a generalized anxiety disorder (22.6%) and anxiety experienced due to COVID "completely affected" their lives (19.5%). The average knowledge score of the students and anxiety level of students who received applied training in the hospital was higher than those who did not receive applied training in the hospital(p<0.05). Conclusion: Students had sufficient knowledge level and awareness about pandemic. However, anxiety levels were high. Considering the possibility that prolonged pandemic duration may increase anxiety disorder; should do research, distance education programs, and strategies to protect students' mental health.

Anxiety; coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19); knowledge; health students; pandemic and mental health


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