RESEARCH PAPER
Prevalence of anxiety and depression among domestic and foreign medical students in Poland
 
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Department of Psychiatry, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Aneta Anna Jaroszewska   

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. Tel.: +48 506 133 588.
Submission date: 2020-04-10
Final revision date: 2020-05-25
Acceptance date: 2020-05-25
Online publication date: 2020-10-16
 
 
KEYWORDS
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Depression and anxiety disorders are much more common among medical students than in the general population. Due to additional risk factors, foreign students may be particularly vulnerable. Despite this, there is still an insufficient number of studies analyzing the prevalence of mental disorders among foreign medical students, especially in Poland.

Aim:
The aim of the study was to assess and compare the prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders between domestic and foreign medical students in Poland.

Material and methods:
An anonymous internet survey containing questions about socio-demography and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale questionnaire was distributed among students. Based on the field of study and country of origin, participants were divided into 3 groups – Polish medical student group (PMG, n = 214); foreign medical student group (FMG, n = 59) and control group, which were Polish students of other faculties (CG, n = 476). The study groups were compared using the χ2 test.

Results and discussion:
The prevalence of depression disorders was 30%, 31% and 28% (PMG, FMG and CG, respectively). No statistically significant difference was observed between the study groups (P = 0.77). The prevalence of anxiety disorders was 57%, 90% and 59% (PMG, FMG and CG, respectively). Anxiety disorders were more common among FMG as compared to PMG and CG (P < 0.01 in both cases).

Conclusions:
The prevalence of depression and anxiety among medical students in Poland is high. Foreign medical students appear to be particularly vulnerable to anxiety disorders.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
None declared.
FUNDING
None declared.
 
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