Psychological problems and overweight in medical students compared to students from Faculty of Humanities, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand

Kittipong Kongsomboon
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 2010, 93: S106-13

BACKGROUND: Medical students have a high prevalence of stress, depression, daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation and overweight. The students from the social sciences such as Faculty of Humanities, may have different problems. The aim of this study was to compare the epidemiology of stress, depression, daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation and overweight of medical students with students from Faculty of Humanities, Srinakharinwirot University.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Total of 646 students from Faculty of Medicine and 103 students from Division of Children's Literature, Faculty of Humanity from Srinakharinwirot University were selected; the response rate was 75% and 83.5%, respectively. The design was cross-sectional study. Each participant was evaluated by Health-Related Self-Reported (HRSR) Scale from Psychological Department, Ministry of Public Health, Suanprung stress test from Suanprung Hospital, Thailand, and Epworth sleepiness scale during February, 11th 2008 to March, 4th 2008. Categorical variables were analyzed using the Chi-square test or Fisher exact test and p-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS: The prevalence of depression in medical students was 11.5% and the prevalence of depression in students from Faculty of Humanities was 12.2%. Medical students in clinical class had high to severe stress more than medical students in pre-clinical class and had the most sleep deprivation on class 6. Male medical students had sleep deprivation and overweight more than female. Medical students with underlying diseases had high to severe stress, but students from Faculty of Humanities had depression. Medical students had odds ratio of stress and sleep deprivation 0.61 and 0.39, respectively compared to the students from Faculty of Humanities.

CONCLUSION: The students from Faculty of Humanities had high to severe stress and sleep deprivation more than medical students but they were the same as depression, excessive daytime sleepiness and overweight. The administrators of each faculty should adjust the curriculum and train the advisors to support their students.

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