Open Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2020)

ISSN Print: 2327-5952   ISSN Online: 2327-5960

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.93  Citations  

Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety among International Students in the Health Professions at Southern Medical University, P. R. China

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2020.812014    100 Downloads   312 Views  
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ABSTRACT

Introduction: International students experience acculturative stress during the adaptation period into a new country, leading to the development of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This issue may be particularly important for international students in the health professions who are exposed to more stressors than usual. This study aims to determine the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and associated factors among international students in the health professions. Methods: This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional research design. A sample of 114 international students from Southern Medical University (SMU) was screened for depression and anxiety using the Hospital Anxiety and Depressive Scale (HADS) during the 2019-2020 academic year. Descriptive statistics, including percentages and frequencies, were performed to determine the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Multiple linear regression analysis was utilized to examine associations between depression and anxiety and socio-demographic characteristics. Results: Overall, the prevalence of depression and anxiety was found to be 36% and 52.63%, respectively. Undergraduate students studying medicine and postgraduates pursuing master’s degrees in Plastic Surgery and Laboratory Science had the highest levels of anxiety (60%), while Ph.D. students had the highest level of depression (50%). The period of study in China (p = 0.037), the discipline of study (p = 0.004), and the level of preparedness for coming to China (p = 0.037) were significant predictors of depression, while the discipline of study (p = 0.004) and socialization (p = 0.040) were significant predictors of anxiety. Conclusion: The prevalence of depression and anxiety among the study population was relatively high. The length of time in China and the level of preparedness before coming to China were significant predictors of depression, while socialization was a significant predictor of anxiety. The discipline of study was a predictor of both depression and anxiety. Provision of key information before students arrive in the host country, access to multilingual interactions with school counselors and current students, and social and academic contacts with domestic students are recommended to mitigate the adverse effects of stress faced by international students in the health professions.

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Mahihu, C. (2020) Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety among International Students in the Health Professions at Southern Medical University, P. R. China. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 161-182. doi: 10.4236/jss.2020.812014.

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