Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Students’ Mental Health: A Literature Review.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

This review aims to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on university students’ mental health and deepen our understanding of it. The conclusions are based on the review of 32 studies conducted during the pandemic. This review confirms that university students were at high risk for mental health disorders, heightened stress, and increased sleep comorbidities both pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. This literature review confirmed a few universal trends, i. e., increased stress, anxiety, and depression, during the pandemic. The rates of insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal ideation also went up. Overall, female students are at a disadvantage in the development of mental health issues. Male students coped better but may be at higher risk for lethality in suicidal ideation. Students with a history of mental health issues and other comorbidities prior to the pandemic had worse outcomes compared to healthy individuals. The study points to a strong positive correlation between fear and increased rates of stress, anxiety, and insomnia. There is also a positive correlation between declining mental health and online learning. A strong negative correlation was present between physical activity and depressive symptoms. These findings are universal across many countries and regions where the studies occurred.

Concepts Keywords
Covid anxiety
Depressive covid-19
Students depression
Therapy mental health
Universal stress
suicidal ideation


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease MESH insomnia
disease MESH obsessive-compulsive disorder
disease MESH suicidal ideation
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease IDO history

Original Article

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