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Mental health in medical, dentistry and veterinary students: cross-sectional online survey

  • Duleeka Knipe (a1), Chloe Maughan (a2), John Gilbert (a3), David Dymock (a4), Paul Moran (a5) and David Gunnell (a6)...
Abstract
Background

The mental health of university students, especially medical students, is of growing concern in the UK.

Aim

To estimate the prevalence of mental disorder in health sciences students and investigate help-seeking behaviour.

Method

An online survey from one English university (n = 1139; 53% response rate) collected data on depression (using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire), anxiety (seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment), alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), self-harm and well-being, as well as help seeking.

Results

A quarter of the students reported symptoms of moderate/severe depression and 27% reported symptoms of moderate/severe anxiety. Only 21% of students with symptoms of severe depression had sought professional help; the main reason for not seeking help was fear of documentation on academic records.

Conclusions

The study highlights the extent of mental health problems faced by health science students. Barriers to help seeking due to concerns about fitness-to-practise procedures urgently need to be addressed to ensure that this population of students can access help in a timely fashion.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Duleeka Knipe, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK. Email: dee.knipe@bristol.ac.uk
Footnotes
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These authors contributed equally to this article.

Footnotes
References
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Mental health in medical, dentistry and veterinary students: cross-sectional online survey

  • Duleeka Knipe (a1), Chloe Maughan (a2), John Gilbert (a3), David Dymock (a4), Paul Moran (a5) and David Gunnell (a6)...
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