Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2021 Mar 26. Epub ahead of print.

Severity of depression, anxiety, and stress among undergraduate health sciences students in Abha, Saudi Arabia.

Alshloul MN, Bdair IA, Alalyani MM.

Abstract

Background and aims: The medical education process is perceived to be challenging and stressful, posing a danger to the lives of university students, leading to physical, psychosocial health issues and low academic achievement. This study aims to determine the level of depression, anxiety, and stress, and associated factors among undergraduate health science students in Abha, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted at health science departments in Al-Ghad International Colleges (GIC) and King Khalid University (KKU). A pretested self-administered questionnaire was completed by a convenient sample of 350 students. The Scale 21 (DASS-21) inventory of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress was used. Results: There were 60% female and 40% male students in the study. Most students reported mild to extremely severe symptoms of depression (47.2%), anxiety (56%), and stress (39.1%). KKU students displayed more depression (52%) than GIC students (42.3%) with a statistically significant difference (p=0.026). The findings showed that the relationship between depression and anxiety (r=0.781, p<0.01), depression and stress (r=0.693, p<0.01), stress and anxiety (r=o.794, p<0.01) was positive. A study found that depression, anxiety, and stress scores were significantly higher among female and second-year and below students. Conclusions: It can be inferred that among health science students, depression, anxiety, and stress are prevalent. It is critical to improve mental health among undergraduate students. The results suggest that psychological problem assessment and therapy services for undergraduate students should be implemented. We suggest more research studies to get a better understanding of the experience of students with psychological problems based on the study outcomes.

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