Background Medical students are known to have higher levels of these issues than the general population but in Vietnam the effects of the pandemic on medical student mental health was not documented. Objectives To estimate the prevalence and identify factors associated with self-reported anxiety disorder, depression, and perception of worsening mental health among Vietnamese medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted from April 7th to 29th, 2020. All students in Doctor of General Medicine, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, and Bachelor of Nursing tracks at Hanoi Medical University (3672 students) were invited to participate. Data were collected using an online questionnaire including demographic characteristics, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 items, Patient Health Questionnaire 9 items, Fear of COVID-19 scale, and question about worsening mental health status. Robust Poisson regression was used to assess the association between mental health status and associated factors. Results Among 1583 students (43.1% response rate), the prevalence of students screened positive for anxiety disorder was 7.3%(95%C.I.:6.0–8.7), depression was 14.5%(95%C.I.:12.8–16.3), and perceiving worsening mental health was 6.9%(95%C.I.:5.7–8.3). In multivariable regression models, significant factors associated with self-reported anxiety disorder included being male (PR = 1.99,95%C.I.:1.35–2.92), difficulty in paying for healthcare services (PR = 2.05,95%C.I.:1.39–3.01), and high level of fear of COVID-19 (Q3:PR = 2.36,95%C.I.:1.38–4.02 and Q4:PR = 4.75,95%C.I.:2.65–8.49). Significant factors associated with self-reported depression were difficulty in paying for healthcare services (PR = 1.78,95%C.I.:1.37–2.30), and high level of fear of COVID-19 (Q3:PR = 1.41,95%C.I.:1.02–1.95 and Q4:PR = 2.23,95%C.I.:1.51–3.29). Significant factors associated with perceived worsening mental health status included having clinical experience (PR = 1.83,95%C. I.:1.17–2.88) and having atypical symptoms of COVID-19 (PR = 1.96,95%C.I.:1.31–2.94). Conclusion The prevalence of self-reported depression, anxiety disorder, and worsening mental health among Vietnamese students during the first wave of COVID-19 was lower than in medical students in other countries. Further investigation is needed to confirm this finding.
ASJC Scopus subject areas