Skip navigation
Skip navigation

A cross-sectional examination of psychological distress, positive mental health and their predictors in medical students in their clinical clerkships

van Dijk, Inge; Lucassen, Peter; van Weel, Chris; Speckens, Anne

Description

Background Medical students can experience the transition from theory to clinical clerkships as stressful. Scientific literature on the mental health of clinical clerkship students is scarce and mental health is usually defined as absence of psychological distress without assessing psychological, emotional and social wellbeing, together called ‘positive mental health’. This cross-sectional study examines the prevalence of psychological distress and positive mental health and explores...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorvan Dijk, Inge
dc.contributor.authorLucassen, Peter
dc.contributor.authorvan Weel, Chris
dc.contributor.authorSpeckens, Anne
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-27T23:26:19Z
dc.date.available2021-04-27T23:26:19Z
dc.identifier.issn1472-6920
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/231050
dc.description.abstractBackground Medical students can experience the transition from theory to clinical clerkships as stressful. Scientific literature on the mental health of clinical clerkship students is scarce and mental health is usually defined as absence of psychological distress without assessing psychological, emotional and social wellbeing, together called ‘positive mental health’. This cross-sectional study examines the prevalence of psychological distress and positive mental health and explores possible predictors in a Dutch sample of clinical clerkship students. Methods Fourth-year medical students in their first year of clinical clerkships were invited to complete an online questionnaire assessing demographics, psychological distress (Brief Symptom Inventory), positive mental health (Mental Health Continuum- SF), dysfunctional cognitions (Irrational Beliefs Inventory) and dispositional mindfulness skills (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire). Multiple linear regression analysis was used to explore relationships between psychological distress, positive mental health (dependent variables) and demographics, dysfunctional cognitions and dispositional mindfulness skills (predictors). Results Of 454 eligible students, 406 (89%) completed the assessment of whom 21% scored in the clinical range of psychological distress and 41% reported a flourishing mental health. These proportions partially overlap each other. Female students reported a significantly higher mean level of psychological distress than males. In the regression analysis the strongest predictors of psychological distress were ‘acting with awareness’ (negative) and ‘worrying’ (positive). Strongest predictors of positive mental health were ‘problem avoidance’ (negative) and ‘emotional irresponsibility’ (negative). Conclusions The prevalence of psychopathology in our sample of Dutch clinical clerkship students is slightly higher than in the general population. Our results support conclusions of previous research that psychological distress and positive mental health are not two ends of one continuum but partially overlap. Although no conclusion on causality can be drawn, this study supports the idea that self-awareness and active, nonavoidant coping strategies are related to lower distress and higher positive mental health.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was financed by the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Primary and Community Care of the Radboudumc and by a grant of the department of Evaluation, Quality and Development of Education of the Radboudumc
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherBioMed Central
dc.rights© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.sourceBMC Medical Education
dc.subjectClinical clerkships
dc.subjectMedical students
dc.subjectMultiple linear regression
dc.subjectPositive mental health
dc.subjectPsychological distress
dc.titleA cross-sectional examination of psychological distress, positive mental health and their predictors in medical students in their clinical clerkships
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume17
dc.date.issued2017
local.identifier.absfor111709 - Health Care Administration
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4492120xPUB217
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmededuc/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationvan Dijk, Inge, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Psychiatry
local.contributor.affiliationLucassen, Peter, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.contributor.affiliationVan Weel, Chris, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationSpeckens, Anne, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage219
local.identifier.doi10.1186/s12909-017-1035-8
local.identifier.absseo920204 - Evaluation of Health Outcomes
dc.date.updated2020-11-23T10:05:00Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85034451640
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenanceThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
CollectionsANU Research Publications

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
01_van+Dijk_A_cross-sectional_examination_2017.pdf611.42 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail


This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Updated:  19 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator