[Mental health problems among students of a regional Chilean university].Rev Med Chil 2013; 141(2):209-16RM
The increase in university population in Chile has also increased the number of students presenting mental health disorders.
To determine the frequency of mental health problems and its association with other relevant variables among students of a regional university in Chile.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A sample of 484 students aged 18 to 28 years (45% males) were assessed once using a battery of tests designed to detect mental health problems. The instruments used were Derogates SCL-90-R, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and a social-demographic questionnaire.
Fifteen percent of the sample presented high levels of mental health symptoms, determined according to the cut-off points of Beck inventories. This symptomatic group, which also showed high levels of stress, was composed mostly of freshmen and women. There was a significant association between symptoms and socio-demographic variables such as living in rural areas, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, a higher need for psychological and psychiatric care and a lower number of extracurricular activities.
The knowledge of mental health problems among university students will allow to generate strategies for mental health prevention, promotion and treatment.