Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.21256/zhaw-23343
Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Generalized anxiety among Swiss health professions and non-health professions students : an open cohort study over 14 months in the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Volken, Thomas
Zysset, Annina
Amendola, Simone
von Wyl, Agnes
Dratva, Julia
et. al: No
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182010833
10.21256/zhaw-23343
Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume(Issue): 18
Issue: 20
Page(s): 10833
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: MDPI
ISSN: 1660-4601
1661-7827
Language: English
Subjects: Generalized anxiety disorder; Health profession; Student; COVID-19; Mental health; Young adult
Subject (DDC): 613: Personal health
Abstract: To date, little is known about the long-term trajectory of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms in health professions (HP) students over the course of the pandemic. Like health professionals in general, HP students may have a significantly greater susceptibility to GAD symptoms due to their involvement in the health care system and the associated specific stressors and risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The HEalth in Students during the Corona pandemic study (HES-C) provided the opportunity to investigate the long-term course of GAD symptoms with eight measurement points over 14 months in 9380 HP and non-HP students in Switzerland between March 2020 and June 2021. We employed logistic regression models with clustered sandwich standard errors to estimate unadjusted and adjusted prevalence of GAD symptoms. In the full model, we adjusted for age, gender, nationality, social status, social support, self-efficacy, and COVID-19 symptoms in the past 4 weeks. At baseline, the estimated adjusted GAD symptom prevalence was 17.6% (95% CI = 14.4–20.7) in HP students and 24.4% (95% CI = 22.3–26.5) in their peers. With the peak of the second SARS-CoV-2 infection wave in October/November 2020, GAD symptom prevalence substantially increased and then remained stable over time, despite changes in the epidemiological situation and its associated containment measures. At the last follow-up in June 2021, GAD symptom prevalence in HP and non-HP students was 22.9% (95% CI = 16.3–29.5) and 36.9% (95% CI = 32.9–40.9), respectively. Absolute differences in GAD symptom prevalence between student groups over all eight measurement points ranged from 6.2% to 14.9% (all p < 0.05). Non-HP students are identified as a specifically vulnerable group. Accordingly, target group-specific public health campaigns and interventions should be developed with the aim to strengthen their resources, reducing GAD symptoms, and preventing chronification.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/23343
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Applied Psychology
School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Health (IPH)
Psychological Institute (PI)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Gesundheit von Studierenden in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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