Banner Portal
The psychological impact of social distancing related to the covid-19 pandemic on undergraduate and graduate students in Brazil


Coronavirus infections
Patient health questionnaire
Students, dental

How to Cite

Oliveira AA de, Silva LAB da, Nelson Filho P, Puccinelli CM, Silva CMPC, Segato RAB. The psychological impact of social distancing related to the covid-19 pandemic on undergraduate and graduate students in Brazil. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 23 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];21(00):e226698. Available from:


Aim: To evaluate the psychological impact of COVID-19 on undergraduate and graduate students of the Dental School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo. Methods: Three questionnaires were used: sociodemographic, WHO Abbreviated Quality of Life Inventory, and General Anxiety Disorder-7. Data were analyzed using Graph Pad Prism 7a (α = 5%). Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn post-tests were used for statistical comparisons. The Spearman test was used as the correlation test. Results: 257 students responded to the online form that assessed their quality of life and anxiety level. On a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best quality of life, the average obtained was 64.71 (± 13.36). In addition, 87.6% of the students rated their quality of life as good or very good. 74.7% reported good or very good health. The anxiety analysis resulted in an average of 10.04 (± 4.5), indicating moderate anxiety levels. There was an inversely proportional correlation between age and degree of anxiety (p = 0.008, r = -0.1628) and self-perceived learning and student commitment (r = 0.69). Conclusion: Despite the good quality of life and the students’ good self-perception of health, they showed a moderate degree of anxiety during the social distancing caused by COVID-19, also demonstrating a decrease in interest and commitment during distance education.


Pan American Health Organization. [WHO says COVID-19 is now characterized as a pandemic]. PAHO; 2020 Mar 11 [cited 2020 Jul 6]. Available from: Portuguese.

World Health Organization. Weekly epidemiological update - 12 January 2021. WHO; 2021 Jan 12 [cited 2021 Jand 30]. Available from:

Davenne E, Giot JB, Huynen P. Coronavirus et COVID-19 : le point sur une pandémie galopante [Coronavirus and COVID-19 : focus on a galopping pandemic]. Rev Med Liege. 2020 Apr;75(4):218-25. French.

Silva PGB, de Oliveira CAL, Borges MMF, Moreira DM, Alencar PNB, Avelar RL, et al. Distance learning during social seclusion by COVID-19: Improving the quality of life of undergraduate dentistry students. Eur J Dent Educ. 2021 Feb;25(1):124-34. doi: 10.1111/eje.12583.

Elsalem L, Al-Azzam N, Jum'ah AA, Obeidat N, Sindiani AM, Kheirallah KA. Stress and behavioral changes with remote E-exams during the Covid-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study among undergraduates of medical sciences. Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2020 Dec;60:271-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2020.10.058.

Duan L, Zhu G. Psychological interventions for people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 Apr;7(4):300-2. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30073-0.

Wang C, Pan R, Wan X, Tan Y, Xu L, Ho CS et al. Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar;17(5):1729. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17051729.

Chen Q, Liang M, Li Y, Guo J, Fei D, Wang L et al. Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 Apr;7(4):e15-e16. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30078-X.

Cao W, Fang Z, Hou G, Han M, Xu X, Dong J et al. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry Res. 2020 May;287:112934. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112934.

Kaparounaki CK, Patsali ME, Mousa DV, Papadopoulou EVK, Papadopoulou KKK, Fountoulakis KN. University students' mental health amidst the COVID-19 quarantine in Greece. Psychiatry Res. 2020 Aug;290:113111. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113111.

Harrel SK, Molinari J. Aerosols and splatter in dentistry: a brief review of the literature and infection control implications. J Am Dent Assoc. 2004 Apr;135(4):429-37. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2004.0207.

Ather A, Patel B, Ruparel NB, Diogenes A, Hargreaves KM. Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for Clinical Dental Care. J Endod. 2020 May;46(5):584-95. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2020.03.008.

Becker K, Brunello G, Gurzawska‐Comis K, Becker J, Sivolella S, Schwarz F, et al. Dental care during COVID-19 pandemic: Survey of experts' opinion. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2020 Dec;31(12):1253-60. doi: 10.1111/clr.13676.

Gurzawska-Comis K, Becker K, Brunello G, Gurzawska A, Schwarz F. Recommendations for Dental Care during COVID-19 Pandemic. J Clin Med. 2020 Jun;9(6):1833. doi: 10.3390/jcm9061833.

Pan Y, Liu H, Chu C, Li X, Liu S, Lu S. Transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2 and protective measures in dental clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic. Am J Dent. 2020 Jun;33(3):129-34.

Ren YF, Rasubala L, Malmstrom H, Eliav E. Dental Care and Oral Health under the Clouds of COVID-19. JDR Clin Trans Res. 2020 Jul;5(3):202-10. doi: 10.1177/2380084420924385.

Fleck MP, Louzada S, Xavier M, Chachamovich E, Vieira G, Santos L, et al. [Application of the Portuguese version of the abbreviated instrument of quality life WHOQOL-bref]. Rev Saude Publica. 2000 Apr;34(2):178-83. Portuguese. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102000000200012.

Malibary H, Zagzoog MM, Banjari MA, Bamashmous RO, Omer AR. Quality of Life (QoL) among medical students in Saudi Arabia: a study using the WHOQOL-BREF instrument. 2019 Sep;19(1):344. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1775-8.

Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB, Löwe B. The Patient Health Questionnaire Somatic, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptom Scales: a systematic review. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010 Jul-Aug;32(4):345-59. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2010.03.006.

Agius AM, Gatt G, Vento Zahra E, Busuttil A, Gainza-Cirauqui ML, Cortes ARG, et al. Self-reported dental student stressors and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Dent Educ. 2021 Feb;85(2):208-15. doi: 10.1002/jdd.12409.

Iosif L, Ţâncu AMC, Didilescu AC, Imre M, Gălbinașu BM, Ilinca R. Self-Perceived Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic by Dental Students in Bucharest. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May;18(10):5249. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18105249.

Hakami Z, Khanagar SB, Vishwanathaiah S, Hakami A, Bokhari AM, Jabali AH, et al. Psychological impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on dental students: a nationwide study. J Dent Educ. 2021 Apr;85(4):494-503. doi: 10.1002/jdd.12470.

Cayo-Rojas CF, Castro-Mena MJ, Agramonte-Rosell RC, Aliaga-Mariñas AS, Ladera-Castañeda MI, Cervantes-Ganoza LA, et al. Impact of COVID-19 mandatory social isolation on the development of anxiety in peruvian dentistry students: a logistic regression analysis. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2021 Apr;11(2):222-9. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_52_21.

Cornine A. Reducing nursing student anxiety in the clinical setting: an integrative review. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2020 Jul/Aug;41(4):229-34. doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000633.

Pillay N, Ramlall S, Burns JK. Spirituality, depression and quality of life in medical students in KwaZulu-Natal. S Afr J Psychiatr. 2016 Mar;22(1):731. doi: 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v22i1.731.

Odriozola-González P, Planchuelo-Gómez Á, Irurtia MJ, de Luis-García R. Psychological effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown among students and workers of a Spanish university. Psychiatry Res. 2020 Aug;290:113108. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113108.

Kmietowicz Z. Rules on isolation rooms for suspected covid-19 cases in GP surgeries to be relaxed. BMJ. 2020 Feb;368:m707. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m707.

Wang C, Zhao H. The Impact of COVID-19 on Anxiety in Chinese University Students. Front Psychol. 2020 May;11:1168. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01168.

Cayo-Rojas CF, Agramonte-Rosell RC. Challenges of virtual education in dentistry in times of COVID-19 pandemic. Rev Cubana Estomatol. 2020;57(3):e3341.

Fancourt D, Steptoe A, Bu F. Trajectories of anxiety and depressive symptoms during enforced isolation due to COVID-19 in England: a longitudinal observational study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2021 Feb;8(2):141-9. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30482-X.

Al-Shayea EI. Perceived depression, anxiety and stress among Saudi postgraduate orthodontic students: a multi-institutional survey. Pak Oral Dental J. 2014 Jul;34(2):296-303.

Holmes EA, O'Connor RC, Perry VH, Tracey I, Wessely S, Arseneault L et al. Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 Jun;7(6):547-50. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30168-1.

de Girolamo L, Peretti GM, Maffulli N, Brini AT. Covid-19-The real role of NSAIDs in Italy. J Orthop Surg Res. 2020 May;15(1):165. doi: 10.1186/s13018-020-01682-x.

Sahu P. Closure of universities due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on education and mental health of students and academic staff. Cureus. 2020 Apr;12(4):e7541. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7541.

Ozamiz-Etxebarria N, Dosil-Santamaria M, Picaza-Gorrochategui M, Idoiaga-Mondragon N. Stress, anxiety, and depression levels in the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in a population sample in the northern Spain. Cad Saude Publica. 2020 Apr;36(4):e00054020. English. doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00054020.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Angélica Aparecida de Oliveira, Lea Assed Bezerra da Silva, Paulo Nelson-Filho, Carolina Maschietto Puccinelli, Clara Marina Pereira Cavalcanti Silva, Raquel Assed Bezerra Segato


Download data is not yet available.