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Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2010 Jan;15(1):27-32.

Measuring mental health following the 6-year American invasion of Iraq. A general health questionnaire analysis of Iraqi medical and dentistry students.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq. alnimermarwan@ymail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the current psychological problems among Iraqi medical and dentistry students using a General Health Questionnaire after 6 years of armed conflicts.

METHODS:

This study was carried out in the Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq from January to May 2009. A total of 440 medical and dentistry students were asked to complete the 12-item (GHQ-12) and 30-item (GHQ-30) General Health Questionnaire-Arabic version to measure the level of their psychological distress. The analysis of this cross-sectional study is based on a voluntary self-rating questionnaire survey of the assessment of common mental problems.

RESULTS:

Based on the GHQ-12, using simple Likert scoring, probable psychiatric illness (score >12) was approximately equal in dentistry (50.6%; 89 out of 176) and medical (51.1%; 135 out of 264) students, with an odds ratio of 1.138. Based on GHQ-30 using binary scoring, the probable cases (score > or = 5) were reported significantly (p<0.001) higher in medical students than dentistry students, with an odds ratio of 3.251. The means of overall categorized psychiatric morbidity, other than social dysfunction, reported in male dentistry students were non-significantly higher than corresponding medical students.

CONCLUSION:

The impact of armed conflicts is obvious, therefore, medical and dentistry students need to receive effective mental health outreach and treatment, including lifestyle modification, at each stage of college life.

PMID:
20677588
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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