Sleep Disruption and its Correlation to Psychological Distress Among Medical Students


A Sahraian 1 , A Javadpour 1 , *

1 Assistant Professor, Research Centre for Psychiatry and Behavioral sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran

How to Cite: Sahraian A, Javadpour A. Sleep Disruption and its Correlation to Psychological Distress Among Medical Students, Shiraz E-Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 11(1):20378.


Shiraz E-Medical Journal: 11 (1); 12-17
Published Online: January 1, 2010
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 15, 2009
Accepted: October 14, 2009


Background: Medical students are a population who are at great risk to develop sleep disrup-tion due to demanding clinical and academic duties. Knowing how much change in sleep wake pattern is associated with subsequent psychological distress could be useful to establish a systematic mental health program in medical schools.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to identify the sleep quality and its correla-tion to psychological distress among 159 medical students.The instruments employed for data collection were a self report sleep- wake questionnaire, Pittsburg sleep quality index (PSQI), the general health questionnaire (GHQ) and a general questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics, use of drugs and history of psychopa-thology.

Result: In descriptive analysis 57.2% of subjects were defined as poor sleeper. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between sleep quality and general health status of stu-dents (r=.6, p=. 000, n= 159). Further Regression analysis showed that number of sleep disruption was a predictor for both sleep quality and psychological distress

Conclusion: Sleep disruption due to shift work or other academic demanding could be a predictor for mental health morbidity in medical students which should be considered in education and mental health policy for this group of students.

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