The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students in Turkey

  • Fuat Torun Psychiatry
  • Sebahat Dilek Torun
Keywords: novel coronavirus, medical students, perceived stress, impact of events, anxiety


Objective: We aimed to investigate the knowledge of medical students about COVID-19, the effects of the traumatic situation they experienced, the stress they perceived and the factors affecting them. In addition, we aimed to learn the thoughts of the students about the virus due to the uncertainties.

Methods: The study was carried out online between April 30, May 5, 2020 with a questionnaire prepared with googleforms. For the study, all students studying at the Faculty of Medicine of Istanbul Yeni Yüzyıl University were called through class representatives and WhatsApp class groups. The questionnaire included sociodemographic information, knowledge and sources of information about the disease, to agreement degree the proposition whether covid 19 is produced as a biological weapon. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) were applied.

Results: The total number of participants was 275 students. No student was infected with COVID-19 at the time of the survey. The presence of chronic disease in the participants was found to be a factor that increased anxiety (p = 0.01). Majority of participants (60.40%) stated that they agree with COVID-19 is a biological weapon. The mean scores of women ‘s total PSS and IES-R were higher than men. It was found that the families of the students had a lower monthly income than the minimum monthly wage is increasing the anxiety about getting COVID-19 infection and perceived stress. One-third of the students reported that sleep and appetite were impaired than the before pandemic. The announcements and website of Ministry of Health and the social media was the main source of information of the participants.

Conclusions: It was found that medical students were highly worried about being infected with COVID-19. The scores obtained from the pre-clinic students’ anxiety to become infected with COVID-19, PSS and IES-R total scores were found to be significantly higher than their clinical students.


How to cite this:
Torun F, Torun SD. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students in Turkey. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(6):1355-1359. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Torun, F., & Torun, S. (2020). The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students in Turkey. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 36(6).
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