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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-110

Prevalence and determinants of suicidality among medical students in Oman

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (erstwhile Oman Medical College), National University of Science and Technology, Mansoura, Egypt
2 Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
3 Department of Emergency, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
4 Department of Internal Medicine, Ministry of Health, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Correspondence Address:
MBBCh, MSc, MD Mohamed El-Sayed
Department of Psychiatry, Mansoura Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35511
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_1_20

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Objective The aim was to explore the stress sources and determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation among medical students and its association with demographic characteristics and stress factors. Patients and methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on Oman Medical College students of preclinical and clinical years. Data were collected using a semistructured questionnaire with sections on sociodemographic factors, stress factors, and assessment of suicidality. Prevalence of suicidal ideation and behavior in the past was assessed with the help of questions in the General Health Questionnaire pertaining to suicide. Results A total of 314 medical students participated in the study. The average age of the participants was 22.13 years. Most students who participated in the study were females (76.4%). Regarding the year of study, 66.6% of students belonged to the preclinical years, whereas 33.4% of participants were currently undergoing clinical training. The higher level of stress was associated with problems related to nutrition, poor sleep, emotional problems, and difficulties in the study courses. Overall, 33.4% of medical students had a lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation. It was also seen that the rates of making a suicidal plan (8%) or attempting suicide (4.5%) were lower. Results also indicate that the prevalence of suicidal ideation is higher among students in the preclinical years when compared with students in clinical training. Conclusion The prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts among medical students was in the higher range in international comparison. Medical students are future doctors who are in need to be protected from avoidable causes of morbidity and mortality including suicide. There is a necessity for further investigations to identify the core sources of emotional distress and academic burden in this population and then propose strategies consequently.

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