Mental health of students in higher education was affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To examine the emotional wellbeing of midwifery students in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) during COVID-19.
A cross-sectional online-based survey with 619 Dutch and Flemish midwifery students. Sociodemographic details were obtained. Anxiety and depression were measured twice (T1, T2) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flemish students had significantly higher mean depression and anxiety scores than Dutch students during the total period of study (p < .001; p < .001). Total group mean depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher at T2 compared to T1 (p < .001; p < .001). In the Dutch student group, there was a significant increase of depression from T1 to T2 (p < .001). In the Flemish student group, both depression and anxiety scores significantly increased from T1 to T2 (p < .001; p < .001). A history of psychological problems predicted both depression and anxiety, irrespective of COVID-19 period or country (p < .001; p < .001). Being single (p.015) and having a job (p.046) predicted depression, irrespective of period or country. A history of psychological problems predicted depression (p.004; p < .001) and anxiety (p.003; p.001) during the total period of study. Being single also predicted depression during T2 (p.024).
These findings inform how emotional wellbeing of midwifery students was affected during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify those students that might need extra attention after the pandemic, during another pandemic or similar situations with social restrictions.
Kuipers, Y., & Mestdagh, E. (2023). Emotional wellbeing of student midwives during COVID-19. Women and Birth, 36(2), 184-192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2022.11.012