Prevalence and Determinants of Mental Distress among University Students, College of Medicine and Health Sciences in Hawassa University, Ethiopia
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Mental health is defined as the capacity to work, capacity to love and the capacity to play and for recreation. It describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a disorder. Mental health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component. Mental illness was not recognized as public health problem both in developed and developing countries until the recent period of time (WHO, 1994). But there was evidence that mental illness can lead to increased mortality; in particular, the risk of death by suicide in persons with depression or substance abuse was well described (Gelder et.al, 1989).
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and determinants of mental distress among students of Hawassa University, Ethiopia.
Institution based cross-sectional study design was used. Respondents were selected by simple random sampling method. A total of 327 students were included. Simple Random Sampling technique was used. The data was collected by using a self administered structured questionnaire which was adopted from World Health Organization (WHO).
A total of 327 students participated (with the response rate of 95.4%). In which 258 (78.8%) accounted for males and 55(16.8%) accounted for females. Mean age of the students in our study was 22.6 for both male and females with a standard deviation of 2.41. In this study different factors that determine mental distress among study subjects were identified. a higher level of mental distress was reported in females than males which is statistically significant with at 95% CI (Xcal (df=1)=5.95, P=0.015). Study year of the students were having significant association with mental distress (Xcal (df=1)=5.95, P=0.015).
The family living condition was found to be strongly associated with mental distress. Especially those respondents whose parents (both father and mother) lost had high prevalence (60%) of mental distress as compared to those whose parents live together (49%), %), live in different place(25%), divorced (37.5%), one parent lost(29%).
prevalence, determinants, mental distress.