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Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic amongst university students is related with gastrointestinal symptoms


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread throughout the world, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that affects the respiratory system. The emergence and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused confusion, anxiety and fear among the community, including university students. Anxiety to the COVID-19 pandemic causes various psychological manifestations, including fear of disease transmission, loss of loved ones, and decline in future socio-economic aspects. Anxiety can also lead to physical responses like gastrointestinal symptoms. This study aimed to determine the relationship between anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic and gastrointestinal symptoms complained by university students.

Methods: This observational analytic study using cross-sectional approaches involved 311 university students of Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic was measured using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale questionnaire, while gastrointestinal symptoms were measured using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questionnaire.

Result: Of the 311 respondents, 157 (50.5%) of them felt anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic, with 28 (9%) and 13 (4.2%) students experienced severe and very severe anxiety, respectively. Besides, 264 (84.9%) university students complained of gastrointestinal symptoms, both upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. There was a significant relationship between the level of anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusion: In conclusion, anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can cause gastrointestinal symptoms amongst university students. Therefore psychological assistance is needed to reduce psychological and physical disorders during the pandemic. 


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How to Cite

Abubakar, A., Ma’ruf, M. F., Mizfaruddin, M., Yusuf, F., Maghfirah, D., & Muhsin, M. (2021). Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic amongst university students is related with gastrointestinal symptoms. Bali Medical Journal, 10(2), 847–850.




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