The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a great deal of pressure for medical students, who typically show elevated anxiety rates . Our aim is to investigate the prevalence of anxiety in medical students during this pandemic . This systematic review and mini meta-analysis has been conducted following the PRISMA guidelines . Two researchers independently searched PubMed on 26 August 2020 for cross-sectional studies on medical students during the COVID-19 outbreak, with no language restrictions applied . We then performed a manual search to detect other potentially eligible investigations . To the 1361 records retrieved in the initial search , 4 more were added by manual search on medRxiv . Finally, eight studies were finally included for qualitative and quantitative analysis, which yielded an estimated prevalence of anxiety of 28% (95% CI : 22-34 %), with significant heterogeneity between studies . The prevalence of anxiety in medical students is similar to that prior to the pandemic but correlates with several specific COVID-related stressors . While some preventive and risk factors have been previously identified in a non-pandemic context, knowledge and cognitions on COVID-19 transmission, treatment, prognosis and prevention negatively correlate with anxiety, emerging as a key preventive factor that may provide a rationale for why the levels of anxiety have remained stable in medical students during the pandemic while increasing in their non-medical peers and the general population . Other reasons for the invariability of anxiety rates in this population are discussed . A major limitation of our review is that Chinese students comprised 89% the total sample, which could compromise the external validity of our work.
MeSH: Anxiety, epidemiology, Betacoronavirus, Coronavirus Infections, epidemiology, psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Humans, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Viral, epidemiology, psychology, Prevalence, Students, Medical, psychology