Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health

Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2021, Pages 117 - 123

COVID-19-related Traumatic Effects and Psychological Reactions among International Students

Authors
Bijia Song1, 2, #, Yilin Zhao3, #, Junchao Zhu1, *
1Department of Anesthesiology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, No 36, Sanhao Street, Heping District, Shenyang 110004, Liaoning Province, PR China
2Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
3Department of diplomacy and world affairs, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90041, USA
#

Bijia Song and Yilin Zhao contribute equally to this article.

*Corresponding author. Email: zhujunchao1@hotmail.com
Corresponding Author
Junchao Zhu
Received 1 July 2020, Accepted 4 October 2020, Available Online 24 October 2020.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.201016.001How to use a DOI?
Keywords
COVID-19, international students, psychological impact, DASS-21, PCL-C
Abstract

Objective: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to people’s psychological resilience. Students are reported to have greater psychological impacts from COVID-19. This study aimed to survey international students to better understand their traumatic effects and psychological reactions from COVID-19, to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impact during the pandemic.

Method: We conducted an online survey that collected information on the demographics, economic conditions, academic conditions, and health statuses of native Chinese students attending university in the U.S. Psychological impact was assessed by the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C) and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale.

Results: This study included 261 Chinese international students. In total, 37.5% of respondents’ PTSD PCL-C scores measured as moderate or severe. International students who were currently in China facing job-hunting or planning to continue studying abroad, severe economic pressure, and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with greater PTSD PCL-C scores and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than one-third of the respondents rated their PTSD PCL-C score as moderate-to-severe and nearly half of them reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors such as future academic plan, economic pressure, and health status are associated with higher levels of psychological impact and worse mental health status. These should receive attention and psychological interventions should be implemented to improve the mental health of international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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Journal
Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health
Volume-Issue
11 - 1
Pages
117 - 123
Publication Date
2020/10/24
ISSN (Online)
2210-6014
ISSN (Print)
2210-6006
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.201016.001How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Cite this article

TY  - JOUR
AU  - Bijia Song
AU  - Yilin Zhao
AU  - Junchao Zhu
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/10/24
TI  - COVID-19-related Traumatic Effects and Psychological Reactions among International Students
JO  - Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health
SP  - 117
EP  - 123
VL  - 11
IS  - 1
SN  - 2210-6014
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.201016.001
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/jegh.k.201016.001
ID  - Song2020
ER  -