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Abstract

PREVALENCE OF MENTAL DISTRESS AMONG UNDEGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDENTS AT MAJMAAH UNIVERSITY, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

*Abdulkreem Abdulaziz Alnasser, Talal Alghamdi, Waqas Sami, Ibrahim Almutiri, Turki Alanazi and Shoaib Albader

ABSTRACT

Background: Medical Education and Medical Profession are among the most challenging and stressful ones. It also poses many new, challenging and potentially threatening situational demands on the incoming students. Anxiety and depression represents an escalating public health problem among medical students. Objectives: The objectives of the study were; to find the prevalence of mental distress among undergraduate medical students studying at College of Medicine, Majmaah University; to explore associations between sociodemographic characteristics and mental distress and to identify mental health and support service needs at Majmaah University for distressed students. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study. The data was collected from undergraduate medical students’ of either gender studying at College of Medicine, Majmaah University using complete enumeration method. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used to collect the data from 162 students. Result: The overall prevalence of mental distress among students was 35.8%. Psychosocial disorder (27.2%) was the most prevalent among students, followed by anxiety (24.7%), somatic (14.2%) and depression (10.5%). Male students had higher mental distress as compared to female students (67.6% vs 43.5%, p<0.001). Moreover, third year students had higher anxiety level (42.1%) as compared to other year students p<0.001. Conclusion: Medical students encountered high rates of anxiety and depression. Male students were more mentally distressed as compared to female students. Anxiety was more prevalent in 3rd year students as compared to other groups. Educating the students through stress management programs and counselling them through mental health units in the College may help in overall reduction of mental distress.

Keywords: Mental distress, stress, medical students, anxiety, depression.


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