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Psychological distress among students from five universities in Sri Lanka

Authors:

KALA Kuruppuarachchi ,

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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KAJM Kuruppuaracbchi,

Open University of Sri Lanka, LK
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S Wijerathne,

District Hospital Anamaduwa, LK
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SS Williams

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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Abstract

Objective To determine the proportion of university students that are psychologically distressed when compared to an age and sex matched population sample and to describe the factors that may contribute to their distress.

Design A cross-sectional comparison study.

Methods The general health questionnaire (GHQ 30), previously validated in Sinhala, was administered as a screening test to random samples of undergraduates in 5 universities. Age and sex matched controls from the respective communities were also administered the screening test. The undergraduates also filled in a pre-tested questionnaire with personal details. Chi-square tests were used to determine statistical significance between groups.

Results Among the undergraduates, 104 (39.8%) had scores for psychological distress whereas only 67 (25.7%) from the community sample had scores for similar distress. This difference was significant (p=0.0007). A significantly greater proportion (p=0.009) of those entering from rural schools were psychologically distressed than those from suburban and urban schools, and a greater proportion living in rented rooms and hostels were (p=0.001) distressed than those travelling from their homes.

Conclusions The psychological distress among undergraduates was significantly greater than among the general population. More students who enter from rural schools seem to be distressed than those who enter from suburban and urban schools.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i1.6401

Ceylon Medical Journal 2002; 47(1): 13-15

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i1.6401
How to Cite: Kuruppuarachchi, K., Kuruppuaracbchi, K., Wijerathne, S. and Williams, S., 2014. Psychological distress among students from five universities in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Medical Journal, 47(1), pp.13–15. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i1.6401
Published on 22 Jan 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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