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Mater Sociomed ; 34(1): 8-13, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924545


Background: Mental health, substance abuse and suicidal ideation present an emerging healthcare problem during COVID-19 pandemic as a result of socio-epidemiological measures, isolations, work modifications, constant media overload with COVID-19 related news and no effective cure for the disease. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse substance abuse, suicidal ideation and mental health status among university students during the COVID-19 outbreak in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Methods: This cross-sectional study, was conducted via an online anonymous questionnaire based on a Patient Health Questionnaire-4 and Impact of Event Scale-6 which was distributed to the student population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Results: In total 827 subjects, the majority of whom were female (636), had a high school degree (431), were unemployed (587), lived in an urban environment (747) and had a median age of 23.0 (21.0,32.0), completed the questionnaire. Being female [(OR=1.643, p=0.040); (OR=1.643, p=0.032)], taking sedatives [(OR=1.519, p<0.001); (OR=1.250, p=0.029)] and having high IES-6 score [(OR=2.190, p<0.001); (OR=2.013, p<0.001)] were independent predictors of developing depressive and anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak, respectively. Suicidal ideation was present in 71 subjects, with 11 attempting to commit suicide. Sedative (OR=1.381, p=0.005) or alcohol (OR=1.493, p=0.002) use, unemployment (OR=4.551, p<0.001) and depressive symptoms (OR=7.261, p<0.001) were independent predictor of developing suicidal ideation. Conclusion: Bosnia and Herzegovina students show a significant prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms, trauma- and stressor-related disorder related to the pandemic, suicidal ideation and substance abuse during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially in association with gender, occupation and abuse of a specific substance.