Anxiety and suicidal thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-Country comparative study among Indonesian, Taiwanese, and Thai university students

Pramukti, I., Strong, C., Sitthimongkol, Y., Setiawan, A., Pandin, M.G.R., Yen, C.-F., Lin, C.-Y., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Ko, N.-Y., 2020. Anxiety and suicidal thoughts during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-Country comparative study among Indonesian, Taiwanese, and Thai university students. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22 (12): e24487. ISSN 1439-4456

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Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of university students.

Objective: This study examined the psychological responses toward COVID-19 among university students from 3 countries—Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Methods: We used a web-based, cross-sectional survey to recruit 1985 university students from 5 public universities (2 in Indonesia, 1 in Thailand, and 1 in Taiwan) via popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LINE, WhatsApp, and broadcast. All students (n=938 in Indonesia, n=734 in Thailand, and n=313 in Taiwan) answered questions concerning their anxiety, suicidal thoughts (or sadness), confidence in pandemic control, risk perception of susceptibility to infection, perceived support, resources for fighting infection, and sources of information in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: Among the 3 student groups, Thai students had the highest levels of anxiety but the lowest levels of confidence in pandemic control and available resources for fighting COVID-19. Factors associated with higher anxiety differed across countries. Less perceived satisfactory support was associated with more suicidal thoughts among Indonesian students. On the other hand, Taiwanese students were more negatively affected by information gathered from the internet and from medical staff than were Indonesian or Thai students.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that health care providers in Thailand may need to pay special attention to Thai university students given that high levels of anxiety were observed in this study population. In addition, health care providers should establish a good support system for university students, as the results of this study indicate a negative association between support and suicidal thoughts.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Creators: Pramukti, I., Strong, C., Sitthimongkol, Y., Setiawan, A., Pandin, M.G.R., Yen, C.-F., Lin, C.-Y., Griffiths, M.D. and Ko, N.-Y.
Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.
Date: 24 December 2020
Volume: 22
Number: 12
ISSN: 1439-4456
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.2196/24487DOI
1397328Other
Rights: ©Iqbal Pramukti, Carol Strong, Yajai Sitthimongkol, Agus Setiawan, Moses Glorino Rumambo Pandin, Cheng-Fang Yen, Chung-Ying Lin, Mark D Griffiths, Nai-Ying Ko. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 24.12.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Jan 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2021 09:38
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/41957

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