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Harm avoidance and depression, anxiety, insomnia, and migraine in fifth-year medical students in Taiwan

Authors Chen CY, Yu NW, Huang TH, Wang WS, Fang JT

Received 18 January 2018

Accepted for publication 28 March 2018

Published 16 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1273—1280


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Ching-Yen Chen,1–3 Nan-Wen Yu,2–4 Tien-Hao Huang,4 Wei-Shin Wang,4 Ji-Tseng Fang2,3,5

1Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan; 2School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 3Medical Education Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 4Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan; 5Department of Nephrology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan

Purpose: During medical school training, increased stress, depression, and anxiety are common. Certain personality traits, particularly harm avoidance (HA), may increase the risk of psychopathological disorders, insomnia, and migraine among medical students. This study evaluated the role HA may play on levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia among Taiwanese medical students starting their fifth and final year of medical school.
Patients and methods: A series of self-report questionnaires were used to measure the severity of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as somatic symptoms, particularly migraine headache, among 143 Taiwanese fifth-year medical students (94 males and 49 females). Most had normal or mild levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and migraine.
Results: HA personality trait was significantly associated with depression (all P ≤ 0.001) after adjusting for other factors. HA was not significantly associated with anxiety, insomnia, or migraine headache days.
Conclusion: HA personality trait was significantly associated with depression among fifth-year medical students in Taiwan.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, harm avoidance, psychological stress, sleep initiation and maintenance disorders, migraine, students, medical

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