Mental Health Burden of the Russian-Ukrainian War 2022 (RUW-22): Anxiety and Depression Levels among Young Adults in Central Europe

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Authors

RIAD Abanoub DROBOV Anton KROBOT Martin ANTALOVÁ Natália ALKASABY Muhammad Abdullatif PEŘINA Aleš KOŠČÍK Michal

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Citation
Web https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/14/8418
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148418
Keywords anxiety; armed conflicts; Czech Republic; depression; patient health questionnaire; students; Ukraine
Description Armed conflicts are public health emergencies that affect human lives at multiple levels. The mental health of adolescents and young adults is at high risk during crisis settings; therefore, this cross-sectional survey-based study aimed to evaluate anxiety and depressive symptoms among university students in the Czech Republic following the Russian-Ukrainian war of 2022 (RUW-22). The study used standardized screening instruments; the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) for anxiety and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression. Of 591 students who participated in this study, 67.7% were females, 68.2% held Czech citizenship, and 63.8% were enrolled in medical or healthcare programs. The participants were highly concerned about the RUW-22 news, with a mean score of 7.17 ± 2.50 (0–10). While 34% and 40.7% of the participants in this study manifested moderate to severe levels of anxiety and depression, respectively, the mental health burden of the RUW-22 was confirmed by the positive correlation between “feeling concerned”, GAD-7 (? = 0.454), and PHQ-9 (? = 0.326). Female gender, higher frequency of news following, and social media use were associated with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms; thus, proposing them to be risk factors for psychological disorders following the RUW-22.
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