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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 270-275

Prevalence of psychological distress among undergraduate medical students: A cross-sectional study


1 Centre for Medical Sciences Education, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
2 Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
3 Department of Para-Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Correspondence Address:
Pradeep Kumar Sahu
Centre for Medical Sciences Education, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine
Trinidad and Tobago
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijabmr.IJABMR_100_19

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Background: Stressful environment in medical school often has a negative effect on students' psychosocial well-being. An in-depth understanding of how medical students experience psychological distress and coping is necessary for the prospective students. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of psychological distress among undergraduate medical students and its association with some demographic factors. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 380 medical students in the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine. The questionnaires used in this study consisted of two components – (i) the demographic information that required participants to provide their gender, age, year of study, and nationality and (ii) Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 items to measure the levels of psychological distress among participants. Results: Anxiety was the most prevalent psychological distress among medical students, with 63% of them having anxiety symptoms. Depression was found to be the second most common psychological distress, with a prevalence of 51%, while 48% of the students suffered from stress. In further analysis, we found that Trinbagonian students were more depressed than the students from Caribbean Community and other nationality. Higher anxiety score was significantly associated with gender and age of the students. There was a significant association between students from different age groups and level of stress. Conclusions: A considerable number of students studying medicine are suffering from psychological distress. Intervention programs to address the mental health problems of such students should be initiated.


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