J Korean Phys Ther.  2021 Jun;33(3):131-135. 10.18857/jkpt.2021.33.3.131.

Mental Health of Physical Therapy Students in Clinical Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do, South Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Nambu University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this study was to investigate the mental health of physical therapy students in clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted during the pandemic and was completed by 100 physical therapy students in two universities in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do, South Korea. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) were used to evaluate their anxiety and depression status. A Chi-square test was conducted to evaluate the association of participant characteristics with the risk of having anxiety and depression. Logistic regression models were used to identify the general characteristic factors related to anxiety or depression.
Results
Anxiety was found in 28 (28%) of the participants, and depression in 24 (24%). The risk of anxiety and depression in male physical therapy students was 0.189 and 0.211 times lower, respectively, than those female students (p<0.05). The risk of anxiety and depression in physical therapy students with a history of disease was 11.721 and 7.056 times higher, respectively, than those with a history of disease (p<0.05). The risk of anxiety in physical therapy students in clinical practice was 11.721 times higher than that in students who were not in clinical practice (p<0.05).
Conclusion
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a high risk of anxiety and depression among many physical therapy students. More attention and improvements are needed so that physical therapy students can study in a safe environment.

Keyword

COVID-19; Mental health; Anxiety; Depression; Physical therapy students
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