ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic amongst university students is related with gastrointestinal symptoms

Azzaki Abubakar , Muhammad Fadhlan Ma'ruf, Muhammad Mizfaruddin, Fauzi Yusuf, Desi Maghfirah, Muhsin Muhsin

Azzaki Abubakar
Gastroenterology Hepatology Division Dept. of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Email: azzakiabubakar@yahoo.com

Muhammad Fadhlan Ma'ruf
Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Muhammad Mizfaruddin
Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Fauzi Yusuf
Gastroenterology Hepatology Division Dept. of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Desi Maghfirah
Gastroenterology Hepatology Division Dept. of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Muhsin Muhsin
Faculty of Medicine Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Online First: August 31, 2021 | Cite this Article
Abubakar, A., Ma'ruf, M., Mizfaruddin, M., Yusuf, F., Maghfirah, D., Muhsin, M. 2021. Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic amongst university students is related with gastrointestinal symptoms. Bali Medical Journal 10(2): 847-850. DOI:10.15562/bmj.v%vi%i.2412


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread throughout the world, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that affects the respiratory system. The emergence and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused confusion, anxiety and fear among the community, including university students. Anxiety to the COVID-19 pandemic causes various psychological manifestations, including fear of disease transmission, loss of loved ones, and decline in future socio-economic aspects. Anxiety can also lead to physical responses like gastrointestinal symptoms. This study aimed to determine the relationship between anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic and gastrointestinal symptoms complained by university students.

Methods: This observational analytic study using cross-sectional approaches involved 311 university students of Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic was measured using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale questionnaire, while gastrointestinal symptoms were measured using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questionnaire.

Result: Of the 311 respondents, 157 (50.5%) of them felt anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic, with 28 (9%) and 13 (4.2%) students experienced severe and very severe anxiety, respectively. Besides, 264 (84.9%) university students complained of gastrointestinal symptoms, both upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. There was a significant relationship between the level of anxiety to COVID-19 pandemic and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusion: In conclusion, anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can cause gastrointestinal symptoms amongst university students. Therefore psychological assistance is needed to reduce psychological and physical disorders during the pandemic. 

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