Stress, anxiety, and depression among medical students in a multiethnic setting
Authors Kulsoom B, Afsar N
Received 26 February 2015
Accepted for publication 16 April 2015
Published 16 July 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1713—1722
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder
Bibi Kulsoom,1 Nasir Ali Afsar2
1Department of Biochemistry, 2Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Background: Contemporary literature suggests that medical education might adversely affect students’ mental health. Alfaisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is a developing institution; hence, there has been a concern regarding the mental well-being of the students.
Objectives: This study was designed to assess the traits of depression, anxiety, and stress among students in relation to potential underlying reasons.
Methods: All 575 medical students across the 5 years of study participated by filling out the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) questionnaire anonymously twice. Firstly, 2–3 weeks before a major examination (pre-examination), and secondly, during regular classes (post-examination). Correlation was sought regarding sex, year of scholarship, attendance of a premedical university preparatory program (UPP), housing, and smoking. Subjective comments from students were also obtained.
Results: A total of 76.8% and 74.9% of students participated in pre- and post-examination groups, respectively. The majority were the children of expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia, and included Arabs, South Asians, and North Americans. Prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress was high (43%, 63%, and 41%, respectively) which reduced (to 30%, 47%, and 30%, respectively) to some extent after examinations. Saudis and those who had attended UPP had higher DASS-21 scores. Smoking and female sex predicted higher levels of “baseline” depression, anxiety, or stress. The students perceived the curriculum and schedule to be the primary causes of their high DASS-21 scores.
Conclusion: The students had high “baseline” traits of depression, anxiety, and stress, and these were higher if an examination was near, especially among Saudis and those who had attended UPP. Smoking and female sex predicted higher levels of “baseline” depression, anxiety, or stress. Students suggested that study burden and a busy schedule were the major reasons for their high DASS-21 scores.
Keywords: DASS, examination, medical education, smoking, depression, anxiety, stress
Readers of this article also read:
Jeong HR, An SSA
Published Date: 19 November 2015
Carr ME, Tortella BJ
Published Date: 3 September 2015
Cai Y, An SSA, Kim SY
Published Date: 14 July 2015
Published Date: 16 April 2014
Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS
Published Date: 15 November 2012
A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone
Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W
Published Date: 12 November 2012
Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS
Published Date: 27 July 2012
Rao S, Song Y, Peddie F, Evans AM
Published Date: 20 June 2011
Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant
Published Date: 14 July 2010
Jim Moselhy, Tasnim Vira, Fei-Fei Liu, et al
Published Date: 24 August 2009