Journal of Wellness


Introduction: Health professions students, including student pharmacists, have been impacted by the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19 pandemic) as schools have transitioned to remote learning and cancelled milestone events. During times of crises, media consumption and hobby participation also impact well-being. The adverse emotional responses and coping strategies of student pharmacists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have not been evaluated, nor have factors that may contribute to emotional responses. The purpose of this study is to determine Doctor of Pharmacy students’ emotional responses and coping precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the influence of media use, working status, and participation in hobbies.

Methods: An anonymous online survey was administered to student pharmacists from May 21 to June 7, 2020 at one school of pharmacy in Kentucky. Measures included gender, working status, media source and use, hobby participation, emotional responses, and the Brief COPE to measure coping reactions.

Results: A total of 550 student pharmacists from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy were invited to participate the study. Seventy-seven participants completed the survey, identifying feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants who consumed less than one hour of media per day were significantly less likely to feel fear than those who consumed one to three hours (p = 0.043). The primary news source for participants, as determined by the survey, was social media, including Twitter®, Instagram®, and Facebook®. Students who continued to work during the pandemic reported less fear (p = 0.02) and sadness (p = 0.025) compared to those who did not. Those who participated in hobbies were also significantly less likely to report feelings of sadness (p = 0.001). Student pharmacists reported using approach coping more frequently than avoidant.

Conclusion: Life-disorienting events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can negatively affect student pharmacists’ well-being. Pharmacy schools should prepare student pharmacists for times of both major and minor crises.





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