Study protocol : a mixed methods study to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among Portuguese and Swiss higher education students

Querido, Ana (School of Health Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Campus 2 - Morro do Lena - Alto do Vieiro; Apartado 4137, Leiria, PT ; ciTechCare - Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leira, PT ; "NursID: Innovation & Development in Nursing" Research Group, CINTESIS - Center for Health Technology and Services Research, Porto, PT) ; Aissaoui, Djamel (School of Health Sciences, HES-SO Fribourg) ; Dos Anjos Dixe, Maria (School of Health Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Campus 2 - Morro do Lena - Alto do Vieiro; Apartado 4137, Leiria, PT ; ciTechCare - Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leira, PT) ; Schwander-Maire, Françoise (School of Health Sciences, HES-SO Fribourg) ; Cara-Nova, Tanya (School of Health Sciences, HES-SO Fribourg) ; Charepe, Zaida (Institute of Health Sciences, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisboa, PT ; Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Health (CIIS), Catholic University of Portugal, Lisboa, PT) ; Laranjeira, Carlos (School of Health Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Campus 2 - Morro do Lena - Alto do Vieiro; Apartado 4137, Leiria, PT ; ciTechCare - Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leira, PT ; RECI - Research in Education and Community Intervention, Piaget Institute, Viseu, PT)

Background: Public health emergencies may generate a range of unforeseen potential stressors to vulnerable individuals and communities. Higher education students are outstandingly vulnerable to both everyday stressors and mental health problems, so the psychiatric symptoms among students appear to be on the rise. Objective: This study will characterise the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemics among Portuguese and Swiss higher education students. Methods: This project will be developed using a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design in Portugal and Switzerland. It will include two consecutive phases. During phase I, a quantitative study will assess the psychological responses of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Snowball sampling technique will be used for collecting information from students. The association between variables will be determined with univariable and multivariable analysis. In phase II, qualitative data will be collected in order to understand the determinants of psychological stress and strategies adopted by the students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it will try to identify the students' opinions and feelings about the teaching-learning process during the quarantine period. In this phase, the participants will be selected using a purposive sampling method and the data from FGDs will be coded and inductively analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Finally, quantitative and qualitative results will be merged during interpretation to provide complementary perspectives. Results: This paper describes and discusses the protocol for this mixed-methods study, which will be completed in December 2021. This study was formally approved by the local ethics committee (CE/IPLEIRIA/22/2020) in Portugal, and authorized by the Swiss association of research ethics committees - Swissethics (Project ID: 2020-02889). Conclusions: We expect that this research can contribute to developing teaching tools and methods to reinforce positive mental health strategies, hope and adaptive coping through the development of a course on mental health interventions in the context of catastrophic/traumatic events. This project will also help government stakeholders and health/education professionals to safeguard the psychological well-being of students in the face of the expanding COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Trial: Not applicable


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Santé
School:
HEdS-FR
Institute:
Recherche appliquée et développement Santé HEDS-FR
Date:
2021-06
Pagination:
23 p.
Published in:
JMIR Research Protocols
Numeration (vol. no.):
2021
DOI:
ISSN:
1929-0748
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2021-06-17, last modified 2021-07-05

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