Background: Specific conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the mental health of nursing students.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the mental health of nursing students and associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic at Ahvaz and Kermanshah Universities of Medical Sciences in Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 384 nursing students at Ahvaz and Kermanshah Universities of Medical Sciences in Iran from May 10, 2021, to June 26, 2021. The required data were collected using a web-based questionnaire via social networks, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Symptom Checklist-25 (SCL-25) was used to measure mental health. Descriptive statistics and stepwise linear regression were used to analyze the data.
Results: The mean total mental health score was 47.48±16.03, and 235 (61.0%) students had good mental health, 124 (32.2%) cases had suspected mental disorders, and 26 (6.8%) respondents had severe mental disorders. Using the stepwise regression method, four variables, including gender, history of mental illness, history of coronavirus infection or being suspected of having coronavirus, and level of trust in statistics about the incidence and mortality rate of COVID-19 had the greatest impact on mental health modeling.
Conclusion: In general, the COVID-19 pandemic may have a negative impact on the mental health of nursing students. Therefore, it is very important to identify and consider the factors that can reduce their mental distress.