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Medical students, mental health and the role of resilience – a cross-sectional study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-20, 15:38 authored by Colm Healy, Áine RyanÁine Ryan, Catherine MoranCatherine Moran, Denis HarkinDenis Harkin, Frank DoyleFrank Doyle, Anne HickeyAnne Hickey

Background: Medical students have reported high prevalence of mental health difficulties and burnout. However, there are limited investigations examining the association between resilience and these difficulties. We investigated: (1) depression, anxiety, personal and professional burnout, and comorbidity; (2) demographic and education characteristics associated with these outcomes; (3) the association between resilience and these outcomes; and (4) whether these results were attributable to sampling bias. 

Methods: Participants were n = 521 medical students from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Outcomes were measured using validated scales. We report descriptive statistics, and risk factors for the difficulties were investigated using generalized linear modelling. 

Results: One-in-three students reported incidence of depression or anxiety (24.5% co-morbidity). 8.9% of students reported all four difficulties. Difficulties were more common in female students and those in middle years of the programme. Resilience was negatively correlated with all outcomes and stable across demographic and educational variables. Weighting the data for sampling bias did not affect these results. 

Conclusions: Our results emphasise the high incidence of depression, anxiety, burnout, and comorbidity in students. We advocate for further investigation into the role of resilience as a modifiable factor that may ameliorate the incidence of depression, anxiety, and burnout in medical students.

History

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Medical Teacher. Healy C, Ryan Á, Moran CN, Harkin DW, Doyle F, Hickey A. Medical students, mental health and the role of resilience - a cross-sectional study. Med Teach. 2022;45(1):40-48. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Published Citation

Healy C, Ryan Á, Moran CN, Harkin DW, Doyle F, Hickey A. Medical students, mental health and the role of resilience - a cross-sectional study. Med Teach. 2022;45(1):40-48.

Publication Date

10 October 2022

PubMed ID

36214365

Department/Unit

  • Health Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Medical Professionalism

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education
  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • Surgical Science and Practice
  • Population Health and Health Services
  • Vascular Biology

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Version

  • Accepted Version (Postprint)