COVID-19 PANDEMIC: THE IMPORTANCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT TO STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
CIDI-IESF-Instituto de Estudos Superiores de Fafe (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Higher Education brings the student personal challenges and challenges in the relationship with others. In addition to these challenges inevitably imposed on students, there is the emergence of international public health by SARS-CoV-2. In Portugal, as in the world in general, the pandemic forced strict containment measures to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the virus, namely, mandatory social confinement or quarantine, implying a huge change in the daily routine of students (e.g., distance classes), with the cancellation of all face-to-face activities. This accelerated transition process in the context of Higher Education led to the need to rethink the way of teaching, learning and assessment. As several studies carried out in 2020 indicate, this pandemic situation will have a significant negative psychological impact, in the short and long term, namely, the presence of depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress symptoms is highlighted. The Methodology is a quantitative study aims to assess the main psychopathological symptoms of higher education students in a pandemic context. This work seeks to consolidate the importance of psychological support in Higher Education under COVID-19. UNESCO, in this pandemic crisis, defends that the most important thing is to maintain inclusion and equality within the school community. The school community in Higher Education tries to reduce the impacts caused by the pandemic, despite not being able to avoid what is most precious in young people: social interaction. A psychology office was set up, from scratch, to assist the student, whenever requested. On the other hand, the investigation was based on a self-administered questionnaire, via online, addressed to students enrolled in a Higher Education Institution in the North of Portugal, in a non-probabilistic convenience sample. To measure the main psychopathological symptoms of the students, the Psychopathological Symptom Inventory was administered, adapted from the original 1982 Derogatis Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) scale, adapted for Portugal in 1999 by Canavarro. Research question: what are the psychopathological symptoms of students under COVID-19? The BSI scale assesses nine dimensions: somatization, obsessions-compulsions, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, psychoticism and three Global Indexes: General Symptom Index, Positive Symptom Index, Total Positive Symptoms. Population and Sample: the questionnaire was answered by 97 students from a population of 1790. We are also counting on obtaining more answers. Questionnaires were sent to the students' email. The anonymity and confidentiality of responses are safeguarded. The results of this preliminary study show that there is greater psychological suffering as well as an increase in requests for psychological support to the Psychology Service of the Higher Education Institution. At this stage it is still rash to talk about conclusions, but until September we expect to have more answers and all the questionnaires analyzed.
Keywords: Mental health, COVID-19, Psychological support, Higher education.