Prevalence of Mental Health Complaints Among Performing Arts Students Is Associated With COVID-19 Preventive Measures

Janine H. Stubbe*, Annemiek Tiemens, Stephanie C. Keizer-Hulsebosch, Suze Steemers, Diana van Winden, Maurice Buiten, Angelo Richardson, Rogier M. van Rijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of COVID-19 preventive measures on the mental health of performing arts students. In a prospective cohort study, performing arts students (N = 213) from Codarts Rotterdam, University of the Arts, were invited to monitor their health during one academic year (September 2019–May 2020). Every month, students completed items on mental health complaints, stress, and sleep quality. Chi-square tests and repeated-measures ANOVA with deviation contrasts were performed to investigate whether COVID-19 preventive measures were associated with changes in mental health complaints, stress scores, and sleep quality. During the COVID-19 lockdown, subjective mental health, Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5), and items on loneliness were additionally completed by the respondents. A total of 98 students (46.0%) were included in the analyses. The 3-month prevalence of mental health complaints was significantly higher during the COVID-19 lockdown compared to the two pre-COVID-19 periods (p < 0.001). Mean stress scores were significantly lower for February (35.20) and March (36.41) when compared to the overall mean (40.38). Sleep quality scores (mean) were significantly higher for April (6.90), and May (6.89) when compared to overall mean (6.58). Furthermore, at least 75.5% of the participants dealt with moderate to very severe loneliness in all 3 months during the COVID-19 lockdown. During lockdown, performing arts students perceived less stress and their sleep quality increased. However, the prevalence of mental health complaints increased. Besides, 3 out 4 students dealt with moderate to very severe loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number676587
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Taskforce for Applied Research (Nationaal Regieorgaan praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA) (grant number SPR.VG01.007), without any involvement in study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in writing of the report, and in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Stubbe, Tiemens, Keizer-Hulsebosch, Steemers, van Winden, Buiten, Richardson and van Rijn.


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