Mental Well-Being in Students at University of Ruhuna Faculty of Medicine: A Cross-Sectional Study

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2019

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Objective: Though the role of negative mental health has been investigated, positive mental health in medical students remains an under-investigated topic. This study sought to describe and explore mental well-being in a population of medical students in Sri Lanka, by investigating the range and level of both positive and negative mental health and covariates and by comparing the results with those of US studies. Methods: Students at University of Ruhuna Faculty of Medicine completed paper-based, cross-sectional questionnaires that included demographic items, the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF), the Kessler 10 Psychological Distress Scale (K10), and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI). Analysis took place in Stata and RStudio. Results: Most students were categorized with moderate positive mental health (64.8%) and severe psychological distress (40.4%). Negative and positive mental health outcomes were moderately associated. None of the demographic factors was a significant predictor of positive mental health nor academic performance, and none of the mental health outcomes predicted academic performance. Females reported significantly higher levels of burnout. Conclusions: Medical students in Sri Lanka may experience different levels of positive and negative mental health by year in school. In the current study, final year students reported significantly higher levels of psychological distress and burnout than first year students. Males and older students were significantly more likely to have poor academic performance. Institutions should monitor medical student well-being and direct resources toward evidence-based activities, allowing students to continue along the upward spiral of well-being and flourish into successful medical practitioners.

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Wimberly, Courtney Elise (2019). Mental Well-Being in Students at University of Ruhuna Faculty of Medicine: A Cross-Sectional Study. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18887.

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