Prevalence of Stress, Psychological Distress and Social Support among Clinical Medical Rehabilitation Students in a Nigeria University

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.06.02.Art018

Authors : Arilewola Abosede Omotola


Background: University students are faced with challenges on a regular basis and these could be in form of academics, mental, emotional, social, physical, financial and environmental challenges that predisposes them to stress. The objectives of this study are to assess the prevalence of stress, psychological distress and social support received among clinical medical rehabilitation students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and also assess for any association with demographic variable.

Methods: This study is a cross – sectional study to investigate the prevalence of stress, psychological distress and social support among clinical medical rehabilitation students in a Nigerian University. Self-administered questionnaires consisting of demographic data, perceived stress scale, psychological distress scale, and perceived social support scale questionnaires were used as survey instruments. Data were collated and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: The outcome of the study revealed moderate perceived stress as (69.1%) having the highest percentage, low (27.3%) and high (3.6%). Prevalence for mental distress was (47.3%). Mild distress was (19.1%), moderate (18.2%) severe (10.0 %,) and well/normal was (52.7%). For social support, low support was (9.1%), moderate (40.9%) high (50.0%). Perceived stress had significant correlation with parent marital status and student level in school; p value was 0.039 and 0.038 respectively. Kessler score had significant correlation with students’ living arrangement, p value was 0.050, while social support correlated significantly with family economic status of the students, and p was 0.013. No other factors have been found to be significantly correlated.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of perceived stress and below average mental distress, symptoms among the university students. Majority had high social support. This is of a great concern in public health. Therefore, there is need for more concerted efforts, preventive measures against mental distress and more sufficient supportive services need be put in place for this group.

Keywords: Prevalence, Perceived stress, psychological distress, social supports.


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