The Impact of COVID-19 on Health and Well-Being: Foreign Medical Students in Eastern Europe

Vsevolod Konstantinov, Valentina Gritsenko, Alexander Reznik, Richard Isralowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Approximately 350,000 foreign students, mostly from India, study medicine in Eastern Europe (EE). However, there is a dearth of information about the COVID-19 impact on this population who study at universities in Eastern Europe (e.g., Russia, Ukraine and Belarus). The aim of this study was to examine the pandemic impact on such students and to generate useful information that may be applied to their health, well-being and learning experience. A cross-sectional survey of Indian students at a Russian medical university was conducted. The data collection instrument included questions about background characteristics, fear of COVID-19, burnout, mental distress, eating behavior, substance use, resilience and adherence to World Health Organization prevention recommendations. Male and female students were compared to determine the COVID-19 impact based on gender status. A total of 497 students participated in this study. Among the survey participants, 92.3% reported being vaccinated. No significant difference was found among male and female respondents regarding fear and burnout associated with COVID-19. Approximately 40% of the students reported a deterioration in psycho-emotional well-being due to COVID-19, and such students had higher levels of COVID-19-related fear, burnout, substance use and lower resilience. Nearly half of the respondents reported unhealthy eating behavior (49.7%) and weight gain (46.3%) associated with COVID-19. In addition, students who adhered to prevention measures of mask wearing and social distancing had less COVID-19 fear and burnout, as well as more resilience. This study promotes an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the psycho-emotional conditions of male and female medical students from India studying abroad.

Original languageEnglish
Article number393
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • WHO COVID-10 prevention methods
  • burnout
  • eating behavior
  • fear
  • foreign medical students
  • resilience
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

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