Introduction: A poorly known contagious disease outbreak, like Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), leads to unavoidable stress, fear, and anxiety. During the pandemic, University students suffer from adverse mental health outcomes resulted from the continuous spread of the disease, sensational media reporting, and implementation of social lockdown. Graduating class students are more affected due to the cancellation and postponing of anticipated events such as exchange studies and graduation ceremonies. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of anxiety, depression, and stress among graduating class students.
Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted from November 10 to 30, 2020 at the University of Gondar. A simple random sampling technique was employed to select 350 students. Data were collected using a structured self-administered questionnaire, entered in EPI DATA version 3, analyzed using SPSS version 21, and presented in frequencies, percentages, tables, and graphs. Bivariable and multivariable analysis was investigated using a binary logistic regression model.
Results: The prevalence of stress, anxiety, and depression among graduating class students was 22.2%, 39.6%, and 40.2% respectively. Living in an urban area, living with a family, sedentary lifestyle, unable to practice COVID-19 preventive measures, and having a contact history increases the risk of developing stress. Living in an urban area, substance use, sedentary lifestyle, and fear of infecting family increase the risk of developing anxiety. Students who came from an urban area, live with a family, study non-health departments, had confirmed cases in the family, and didn’t perform physical exercise had higher odds of developing depression.
Conclusion: More than one-fifth, more than one-third, and nearly two-fifths of graduating students had stress, anxiety, and depression respectively. It is better to develop effective strategies and interventions, train students about self-protection, and establish a psychological crisis intervention team to minimize the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Anxiety, COVID-19, Depression, Stress, Graduating class students
Abbreviation: COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease 2019, SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Sciences