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30 March 2023 : Clinical Research  

[In Press] An Online Survey on the Relationship Between Positive Coping and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) of Medical Students in China During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mediating Role of Social Support

Hong-tao Song12ABCDEF, Ling-ling Xia1EF, Yan Ma1B, Dongliang Jiao1B, Sihan Chen3B, Lijing Wang1B, Wenjuan Wang1B, Peipei Song1B, Linlin Mu1B, Li Li1B, Mengdie Pan1B, Lei Zhang1B, Jing Zhao1B, Jun-da Li1EF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.939485

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.939485  

Available online: 2023-03-30, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused varying degrees of psychological stress among medical students. This research explored the post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) of medical students in China and their relationship with positive coping and social support.
In the form of cross-sectional online survey, 2280 medical students locked down at home were selected by random cluster method to investigate social support, coping style, and PTSS using the Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS), Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ), and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), respectively.
This research found that the PTSS detection rate in medical students was 10.42% during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PTSS scores of females were significantly higher than that of the males. However, the PTSS detection rate in females (9.71%) was not significantly different from that in males (11.24%). Compared with those of the non-PTSS group, the total score and its all-factor score of social support, the total score of coping style and the positive coping score of the PTSS group were much lower, while the negative coping score of the PTSS group was much higher (P<0.01). Positive coping was positively correlated with social support, while positive coping and social support were negatively correlated with PTSS. The total effect of positive coping on PTSS was -0.310 (P<0.001), the direct effect was -0.128 (P<0.01), and the indirect effect was -0.182 (P<0.001). Social support played a mediating role between positive coping and PTSS, with the mediating effect accounting for 58.81% of the total effect.
Social support plays a mediating role between positive coping and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Objective support and positive coping are the 2 main protective factors of PTSS.

Keywords: COVID-19; Social Support; Coping Style; Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms; Medical Students


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Dinah V. Parums
Science Editor, Medical Science Monitor, International Scientific Information, Inc., Melville, NY, USA

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.940911

Med Sci Monit 2023; 29:e940911


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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750