Screening for overall mental health status using mental health inventory amongst medical students of a government medical college in North Karnataka, India
Keywords:Mental health inventory, Mental health status, Medical students
Background: In developing countries like India, seeking mental health care is still a taboo, and a lot of stigma is attached to consulting a psychiatric specialist or a counselor. This problem magnifies when budding doctors have a mental health issue. Objective of the study was to assess the overall mental health status of undergraduate medical students studying in a Government Medical College of North Karnataka by using the mental health inventory (MHI) questionnaire.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during the period of July to September 2016 amongst 210 undergraduate medical students at Government Medical College, Koppal, Karnataka by administer a standard 18 items MHI questionnaire. The raw MHI scores (0-6) and computed MHI scores (0-100) were calculated for overall and four subscales (i.e. anxiety, depression, behavioural control, and positive affect) were also calculated.
Results: Out of total 210 study participants, 119 (56.67%) were male and 91 (43.33%) female students. The overall computed MHI scores (0-100) total score ranges from 58-74, mean score 63.5, median 64.43 and a standard deviation of 4.01. However, computed MHI (0-100) scores for subgroups like anxiety ranged from 8 to 60, mean score 47.36, depression ranged from 8 to 84, mean score 50.29, behavior control ranged from 30 to 85, mean score 67.76, and positive affect ranged from 25 to 100, mean score 42.7.Conclusions: Poor mental health and presence of some emotional health problems among medical students is substantially high. Early screening, diagnosis, care and support should be made available to all the medical students.