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TDuring COVID-19 pandemic, it was noticed that it was students who were mostly affected by the changes that aroused because of the pandemic. The interesting part is whether students’ well-being could be associated with their fields of study as well as coping strategies.
In this study, we aimed to assess 1) the mental health of students from nine countries with a particular focus on depression, anxiety, and stress levels and their fields of study, 2) the major coping strategies of students after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We conducted an anonymous online cross-sectional survey on 12th April – 1st June 2021 that was distributed among the students from Poland, Mexico, Egypt, India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, and Bangladesh. To measure the emotional distress, we used the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), and to identify the major coping strategies of students - the Brief-COPE.
We gathered 7219 responses from students studying five major studies: medical studies (N=2821), social sciences (N=1471), technical sciences (N=891), artistic/humanistic studies (N=1094), sciences (N=942). The greatest intensity of depression (M=18.29±13.83; moderate intensity), anxiety (M=13.13±11.37; moderate intensity ), and stress (M=17.86±12.94; mild intensity) was observed among sciences students. Medical students presented the lowest intensity of all three components - depression (M=13.31±12.45; mild intensity), anxiety (M=10.37±10.57; moderate intensity), and stress (M=13.65±11.94; mild intensity). Students of all fields primarily used acceptance and self-distraction as their coping mechanisms, while the least commonly used were self-blame, denial, and substance use. The group of coping mechanisms the most frequently used was ‘emotional focus’. Medical students statistically less often used avoidant coping strategies compared to other fields of study. Substance use was only one coping mechanism that did not statistically differ between students of different fields of study. Behavioral disengagement presented the highest correlation with depression (r=0.54), anxiety (r=0.48), and stress (r=0.47) while religion presented the lowest positive correlation with depression (r=0.07), anxiety (r=0.14), and stress (r=0.11).
1) The greatest intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress was observed among sciences students, while the lowest intensity of those components was found among students studying medicine.
2) Not using avoidant coping strategies might be associated with lower intensity of all DASS components among students.
3) Behavioral disengagement might be strongly associated with greater intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress among students.
4) There was no coping mechanism that provided the alleviation of emotional distress in all the fields of studies of students.
Proper nutrition with fats has a protective effect on the functioning of the nervous system. However, a disturbed ratio of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids supply is nowadays a common phenomenon. A diet overloaded with saturated fats and a shortage of those essential ones in the company with possibly some unfavorable genetic endowment could lead to the release of psychosis from the framework of diet defined by nature for thousands of years.
The study aims to review the literature to assess the influence of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids in the occurrence of psychotic disorders prevention, as well as their impact on remission prolongation.
Literature review in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science using the keywords [psychosis] OR [psychotic] OR [schizophrenia] OR [unipolar] OR [bipolar] OR [schizoaffective] OR [depression] OR [manic] OR [hypomanic] OR [mania] OR [hypomania] OR [first episode psychosis] OR [ultra-high risk] OR [UHR] AND [polyunsaturated fatty acids] OR [PUFA] OR [prostaglandin] OR [phospholipid] OR [phospholipase A2] OR [arachidonic acid] OR [linoleic acid] OR [alpha-linolenic acid] OR [omega-3] OR [omega-6] OR [nutrition] OR [diet]. The review included original articles, reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and case reports from 1977-2022 in Polish and English.
86 articles devoted to diet and nutrition in psychotic disorders were analyzed. Patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorders exhibit deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Such results may indicate compliance with David Horrobin’s theory of the psychotic disorders development in predisposed individuals.
Supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids may be a chance for a selected group of patients to prolong remission but also hope to prevent the occurrence of psychotic disorders in particularly vulnerable individuals.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is associated with changes in haematological parameters related to low-grade inflammation state and could be amplified via oxidative stress (OS) related mechanisms. Although studies confirm this relationship, the results could be cofounded by patients’ treatment.
The study aimed to assess the connection between venous blood count and OS in drug-naïve first-episode SZ patients.
The study consisted of 24 SZ drug-naïve patients during first episode of psychosis (median age: 22 years), and 31 healthy individuals (HC) as a control group (median age: 28 years). The examination included clinical data, OS parameters (enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants), peripheral blood counts.
We did not find differences between SZ and HC in blood count parameters (p>0.05). In patients group, white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils and neutrophils-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) were positively related with the severity of positive symptoms (R=0.59, R=0.53, R=0.50; p<0.05, respectively). WBC was related to superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) levels (HC: R=-0.36, SZ: R=0.70; p<0.05). Neutrophils were positively related to catalase (CAT) (R=0.52; p<0.05) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) (R=0.61; p<0.05), but only in the patients’ group. There was a positive relationship between NLR and CAT (R=0.45; p<0.05) in the SZ group.
The results indicate potential connection and interplay between OS and blood count parameters in the onset of psychotic episode. Further studies on a larger group of patients are needed.
The COVID-19 pandemic currently remains the most significant stressor affecting the global population. Researchers continually report widespread mistrust and negative attitudes towards vaccination, but only a little focus on its association with the emotional well-being.
We aimed to investigate the attitudes towards vaccination against COVID-19, as well as its relationship with well-being and religiosity after one year of the pandemic duration amongst Polish students.
We conducted an anonymous online cross-sectional survey between 12th April – 1st June 2021 amongst Polish students (n=1202). To evaluate emotional distress, we used the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), for measuring spirituality/religiosity we used The Duke University Religion Index.
The highest rate of vaccinated individuals was noted in a group of medical students (69.9%), the lowest - among responders studying science (1.9%). Students who wanted to be vaccinated had higher levels of depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms compared to those who were already vaccinated (p=0.04); they also had higher depressive symptoms than unvaccinated and unwilling participants (p=0.028). Students who didn’t want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 showed the highest religiosity compared to those who would like to be vaccinated (p<0.001) or were vaccinated (p=0.003). There was a negative correlation between the level of religiosity and severity of depressive and anxiety symptoms (p=0.002).
1. The attitudes towards vaccination against COVID-19 depended on the fields of study. 2. Religiousness has been linked with the attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination as well as level of depression and anxiety amongst Polish students.
Despite the huge progression in depression treatment, many individuals do not achieve full recovery. Studies demonstrated alternatives from neurotransmitter targets which are promising to predict and manage illness.
This study aimed to select metabolic factors linked to the severity of depression symptoms.
66 patients (36% males) with episode of depression from part of SANGUT study were assessed for laboratory biomarkers (insulin, glucose, ALT, AST, lipid profile, cortisol, hs-CRP), anthropometric measurements (BMI, body composition, WHR ratio) and severity of subjective depressive (BDI scale) and stress (PSS-10 scale) symptoms.
Maximum accuracy for differentiating mood symptoms was achieved by the combination of triglycerides (cut-off point > 101 mg/dl) and HDL cholesterol (cut-off point <=48 mg/dl). For differentiating stress symptoms the combination of cholesterol LDL (cut-off point > 108.35 mg/dl) and hs-CRP (cut-off point <=1.55 mg/dl) were most accurate. In the regression analysis model, total; LDL and HDL cholesterol, adjusting for HOMA-ir, cortisol, hs-CRP, triglycerides, age and body fat content were independently related to mood symptoms severity and explain 23.4% variability. Stress symptoms were related to cortisol, hs-CRP levels and WHR ratio adjusted for age, duration of illness, LDL cholesterol, and body fat content. The following model explains 19% variability of symptoms severity.
In patients with mood disorders, more attention should be paid to metabolic changes, predicting intensified depression traits. The results indicate lifestyle changes as an available to all patients tool for depression management.
No significant relationships.
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