Spectrum of Anxiety Disorders Among Medical Students in a Nigerian Medical School: A Cross-Sectional Study With Standardized Screening Tools


  •  A. T. Chinawa    
  •  J. M. Chinawa    
  •  E. Aniwada    
  •  Oge Amadi    
  •  A. C. Ndukuba    
  •  S. N. Uwaezuoke    

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders among medical students constitute a global problem, and also reflect the mental state of the general population. There is paucity of data on the spectrum of such disorders among medical students in Nigeria.

AIM: The study aims to determine the prevalence of anxiety disorders among medical students, and the effect of socio-demographic characteristics.

METHODS: A total of 217 medical students from the second to the final years of study at Enugu State University of Science and Technology in south-east Nigeria were enrolled by simple random sampling. Five pretested, self- administered standardized questionnaires were used as screening tools for anxiety disorders. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences program (SPSS version 20). A p-value less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.

RESULTS: Thirty one (14.3%) of the enrolled medical students fulfilled the screening criteria for anxiety disorders. Specifically, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was significantly related to gender (p =0.017) and the year of study (p =0.017). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was significantly related to the year of study (p =0.037), and social anxiety disorder (SAD) to the year of study (p =0.003) and gender (p =0.04). Similarly, panic disorder was significantly related to the year of study (p =0.025) while specific phobia was significantly associated with marital status (p =0.003), parental monthly income (p =0.022) and student’s monthly allowance (p =0.002). Finally, obsessive-compulsive disorder was significantly related to marital status (p =0.034) and year of study (p =0.028).

CONCLUSION: Medical students in Nigeria are prone to a spectrum of anxiety disorders. This susceptibility is influenced by socio-demographic characteristics.



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