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Table 2 Frequency of preventive measures in all students by sex and study group (2020)

From: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stress, mental health and coping behavior in German University students – a longitudinal study before and after the onset of the pandemic

  Total Always/often Sometimes Seldom/never pa
n n % n % n %  
Wearing a mask 1824 1513 82.9 251 13.8 60 3.3  
Female 1285 1087 84.6 160 12.5 38 3.0 0.037
Male 413 327 79.2 69 16.7 17 4.1
MED 744 628 84.4 96 12.9 20 2.7 0.190
STEM 909 737 81.1 135 14.9 37 4.1
HSC 153 133 86.9 17 11.1 3 2.0
Washing hands more often 1821 1457 80.0 285 15.7 79 4.3  
Female 1285 1043 81.2 197 15.3 45 3.5 0.031
Male 410 313 76.3 72 17.6 25 6.1
MED 744 574 77.2 128 17.2 42 5.6 0.067
STEM 906 737 81.3 136 15.0 33 3.6
HSC 153 130 85.0 19 12.4 4 2.6
Contacting friends and family 1823 1292 70.9 419 23.0 112 6.1  
Female 1285 971 75.6 261 20.3 53 4.1 0.000
Male 412 233 56.6 130 31.6 49 11.9
MED 743 575 77.4 138 18.6 30 4.0 0.000
STEM 909 591 65.0 243 26.7 75 8.3
HSC 153 113 73.9 34 22.2 6 3.9
Eating a balanced diet 1824 1221 66.9 421 23.1 182 10.0  
Female 1285 901 70.1 281 21.9 103 8.0 0.000
Male 413 245 59.3 107 25.9 61 14.8
MED 744 536 72.0 161 21.6 47 6.3 0.000
STEM 910 576 63.3 215 23.6 119 13.1
HSC 152 97 63.8 41 27.0 14 9.2
Make sure to get enough sleep 1823 1069 58.6 491 26.9 263 14.4  
Female 1285 795 61.9 329 25.6 161 12.5 0.000
Male 412 199 48.3 133 32.3 80 19.4
MED 742 456 61.5 190 25.6 96 12.9 0.143
STEM 910 511 56.2 253 27.8 146 16.0
HSC 153 93 60.8 43 28.1 17 11.1
Exercise regularly 1819 1010 55.5 416 22.9 393 21.6  
Female 1282 729 56.9 297 23.2 256 20.0 0.059
Male 412 218 52.9 89 21.6 105 25.5
MED 741 474 64.0 165 22.3 102 13.8 0.000
STEM 907 454 50.1 207 22.8 246 27.1
HSC 153 75 49.0 39 25.5 39 25.5
Taking more care about cleanliness 1822 944 51.8 576 31.6 302 16.6  
Female 1284 685 53.3 401 31.2 198 15.4 0.034
Male 412 193 46.8 137 33.3 82 19.9
MED 740 384 51.9 233 31.5 123 16.6 0.863
STEM 911 465 51.0 295 32.4 151 16.6
HSC 153 85 55.6 43 28.1 25 16.3
Using disinfectants 1823 715 39.2 592 32.5 516 28.3  
Female 1285 506 39.4 431 33.5 348 27.1 0.030
Male 412 159 38.6 116 28.2 137 33.3
MED 744 290 39.0 257 34.5 197 26.5 0.000
STEM 908 336 37.0 281 30.9 291 32.0
HSC 153 80 52.3 49 32.0 24 15.7
Taking herbal supplement 1823 267 14.6 240 13.2 1316 72.2  
Female 1285 210 16.3 172 13.4 903 70.3 0.004
Male 412 44 10.7 45 10.9 323 78.4
MED 743 104 14.0 89 12.0 550 74.0 0.182
STEM 909 146 16.1 128 14.1 635 69.9
HSC 153 16 10.5 19 12.4 118 77.1
  1. aPearson’s chi-squared test; p values are for the differences between female and male, as well as between the study subgroups of medicine (MED); science, technology, engineering and, mathematics (STEM); and health sciences (HSC) in the use of preventive measures