13 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
: During the COVID-19 pandemic, some medical students devoted themselves to volunteer activities, but it was the first time that they had been exposed to such an infectious disease and they might have experienced fear in the face of the epidemic. We aimed to conduct a timely assessment of the psychological burden and experience on medical student volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
: We used the 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scales to survey the psychology burden of students in April 2020. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine medical students who signed up for volunteer activities in Chinese from February to April 2020. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze the data.
: The detection of depression, anxiety and stress of medical student volunteers were 26.8%, 20.2% and 11.1%, respectively. The volunteer's negative emotions were more pronounced before work and diminished gradually. Most participants expressed no concern about being infected themselves, but worry about family infection. Participant's motivations for volunteering were primarily their duties as medical students and encouragement from their families/teachers. The vast majority of medical students said they would be willing to work as medical assistants again and this experience would not affect their career choice.
: Chinese medical student volunteers tended to show negative emotions at the beginning of their work, and then gradually declined, while positive emotions emerged. Most medical students were willing to volunteer as medical assistants when their country needed them due to their sense of responsibility as medical students. This study on the psychological and experiential aspects were derived from Chinese medical student volunteers and might have a significant impact on future public health emergencies in similar settings.