Comparative Study on the Mental Health Status of Medical Undergraduates in Guangdong Province

Objective To explore the status of mental health of medical college students, and analyze the main demographic factors. Methods A stratified random sampling was used to select 2374 medical undergraduates from 7 medical universities in Guangdong Province, China. They were investigated with Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90) and a self-compiled questionnaire on general personal information, and then compare their scores with the national youth norm and similar research results in other regions of China. Results (1) The total score of SCL-90 and the scores of 9 factors in this group were significantly higher than the national youth norm (U=6.11-11.74, all P<0.01). (2) The scores on two factors like depression and paranoid ideation were significantly lower than the national college student norm (U=-3.56, -6.33, both P<0.01), while the scores on other five factors like obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, photic anxiety, and psychoticism were higher than the national college student norm (U=2.97-7.89, all P<0.01). (3) The score of paranoid was lower than that of medical students from another region at home (U=-5.73, P<0.001), while the scores of the other eight factors were significantly higher than those of medical students from other regions at home (U=6.29-27.88, all P<0.001). (4) Except for depression and anxiety, boys scored lower than girls in all other factors (U=2.14-9.61, all P<0.05). (5) Except for depression and anxiety, there were significant grade differences in scores of all other factors (|F|=3.90-13.93, all P<0.01). (6) There are significant inter-school differences in all 9 factors (|F | =6.51-51.08, all P<0.01). Conclusion: The mental health of medical students in Guangdong Province is relatively low, and regional economic and cultural characteristics, as well as school training methods, maybe the two sorts of important influencing factors.

Keywords: Medical students; Mental health; Norm; Stratified random sampling