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Psychological Distress High Among Students During COVID-19

10.5 percent of students self-reported psychological distress; increased odds seem for those in high school, those who exercise less

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TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of self-reported psychological distress among students has been relatively high during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Zuguo Qin, M.P.H., from the Health Publicity and Education Center of Guangdong Province in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using data from a survey of children in Guangdong province, China, to examine self-reported psychological distress associated with COVID-19, measured using the total score on the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Data were included for 1,199,320 students (mean age, 12.04 years).

The researchers found that 10.5 percent of the students self-reported psychological distress. High school students had an increased risk for psychological distress compared with students in primary school (odds ratio, 1.19). Students who never wore a face mask had an increased risk for psychological distress compared with those who wore a face mask frequently (odds ratio, 2.59). Compared with students who spent more than one hour exercising, those who spent less than 0.5 hours exercising had increased odds of self-reported psychological distress (odds ratio, 1.64).

"Based on these findings, it is necessary for governments, schools, and families to pay attention to the mental health of school-aged children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and take appropriate countermeasures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health for children and adolescents," the authors write.

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