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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-116

The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among a sample of first-year medical students


1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Medicine, Al Azhar University (girls), Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD of Psychiatry Safaa M Hammouda
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University, Cairo
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_3_20

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Background Stress in medical education has become a global phenomenon. The excessive working hours, competitive academic environment, lack of recreational activities, lack of peer support, staying away from home, and financial problems are common reasons of depression, anxiety, and stress in medical schools. The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among a group of Egyptian medical school students from the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry (100 students from each). Patients and methods A structured self-generated questionnaire was used for identifying demographic and social characteristics and risk factors of psychological illness among those students, and also the Arabic short version of the standardized Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 42 was applied. Results The students of Faculty of Medicine showed the highest percent of depression (96%), anxiety (98%), and stress (76%), whereas the students of faculty of pharmacy showed lower percent of depression (70%), anxiety (81%), and stress (59%). Most medical students (medicine 42%, pharmacy 33%, and dentistry 41%) had moderate depressive symptoms, whereas 34% of students of Faculty of Medicine had severe depressive symptoms and 45% of them had extreme anxiety. Most of the students came from rural areas and lived outside home away from their families. Conclusions The high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms among medical students is alarming. This shows the need for primary and secondary prevention measures, with the development of adequate and appropriate support services for this group.


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