Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Meta-Analysis Attending SDG 3 and 4 of the 2030 Agenda
Ozamiz Echevarria, Naiara
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Sustainability 14(13) : (2022) // Article ID 7914
Background: Most universities around the world have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. Many students were isolated at home and underwent a forced transition from face-to-face learning to e-learning, at least in the first few months. The subsequent months and years were typically characterised by a slow return to normal learning under COVID-19 protocols and restrictions. A potential consequence of the lockdowns, social restrictions and changes to learning is the development of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in university students, affecting their health and well-being (SDG3) and quality of education (SDG4). Materials and Methods: Medline was searched through PubMed for studies on the prevalence of PTSD in university students from 1 December 2019 to 31 December 2021. The pooled prevalence of PTSD was calculated with random-effects models. Results: A total of six studies were included, across which the prevalence of PTSD among university students was 23%. Meta-regression showed that the prevalence of PTSD was significantly higher with older age, but independent of the percentage of women in a study or its methodological quality. Conclusions: Our results suggest that students suffer from PTSD at a moderate rate. Measures are needed to address the mental health issues of university students that have arisen during COVID-19 all around the world.
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