Psychological well-being of Ukrainian students three months after the emerge of full-scale war
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Institute of Psychiatry, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Department of Neurology, Psychiatry and Physical Rehabilitation, Kyiv Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine
Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychoterapii
Submission date: 2023-10-11
Final revision date: 2023-12-04
Acceptance date: 2023-12-15
Online publication date: 2024-02-28
Publication date: 2024-02-28
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Klasa   

Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychoterapii
Psychiatr Pol 2024;58(1):121-151
To depict overall psychological well-being of a large group of students of different universities in Ukraine three months after the emerge of the full-scale war.

A total of 1,142 participants were asked to measure their psychological well-being on a 0–10 scale before and after the onset of full-scale war. Mental health symptoms were measured with questionnaires targeting depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep problems (ISI), eating disorders (SCOFF), alcohol abuse (CAGE), and PTSD symptoms (PC-PTSD-5). To evaluate the connection between variables a χ2 was conducted. Phi and Cramer’s V coefficient were stated to demonstrate the power of the relationships. Additionally, machine learning (the XGBoost regression model) was used to build a predictive model for depressive symptoms.

Of all respondents, 66% screened positive for PTSD symptoms, 45% – moderate and severe anxiety symptoms, 47% – moderate and severe depressive symptoms. Regarding sleep, alcohol use and eating behavior, 19% of surveyed students had signs of moderate and severe insomnia, 15% reported alcohol abuse and 31% disordered eating. The severity of the aforementioned disorders varied depending on gender, year of study, social status, etc. According to the predictive model, lower initial psychological well-being, female gender, younger age, first years of study and any traumatic experience, including multiple trauma, predicted increases in depression score. Return to home after relocation was a protective factor.

The study demonstrated the high prevalence of mental health symptoms among university students in Ukraine during the first months of the full-scale war. The psychological well-being pre-war was the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms in the model.

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