Psychiatric morbidity among third year medical students at the Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


Introduction Different psychiatric disorders are found to be underrecognized yet common and treatable among medical students. Various studies have shown that medical students are subjected to considerable stress over the last decades. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of clinically significant psychiatric morbidity among third year medical students, to explore the effects of the sociodemographic background for these outcomes, and to analyze sex differences with regard to selected psychiatric morbidities. It was preferable to have our study on this educational year as this year is considered a transition from preclinical to clinical training and it is also considered as a crucial stage of medical school, with regard to student stress, at which medical students begin to grasp an image of their future profession. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out among third year medical students from the Ain Shams University. They were assessed using the Social Classification Scale and Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition to assess psychiatric morbidity. Results The response rate was 98.9%. Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among our medical student sample was 59.9%. There was no significant statistical difference between psychological morbidity and any of the sociodemographic variables. The most prevalent psychiatric diagnosis was found to be depression (47.9%), followed by generalized anxiety disorder (44.9%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (44.4%), the least prevalent of which was anorexia nervosa (0.7%). Conclusion A significantly high proportion of medical students (59.9%) had ongoing psychiatric condition and proactive interventions should be addressed to encourage those medical students to seek help for their psychiatric problems. Counseling and preventive mental health services should be an integral part of the routine clinical facilities caring for medical students. © 2011 Institute of Psychiatry.

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Issue Date 2011
Journal Middle East Current Psychiatry 

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