Mental distress among university students in Ethiopia: a cross sectional survey

  • Y Dessie
  • J Ebrahim
  • T Awoke
Keywords: Mental distress, substance Use, university, tertiary education


Introduction: Mental distress is becoming a common health problem among university students .There is limited information in this regard in Ethiopia. This study was aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors of mental distress among students in Adama University.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in March2011. Four hundred and thirteen students were participated in the study. Simple random sampling technique was applied to select the study participants. Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20(SRQ-20) was used to assess the mental distress. Respondents who had a score of eleven and above on the SRQ-20 were considered as mentally distressed.

Results: The prevalence of mental distress was 21.6%. Family history of mental illness (AOR=2.30, 95%CI: 1.10 - 4.81), frequent conflicts with fellows (AOR=2.26, 95%CI: 1.10 - 4.85), Khat (Catha Edulis) chewing (AOR=2.23, 95% CI: 1.14 - 4.35) and not attending religious program regularly were factors associated with mental distress. Being in second year of their education less likely associated (AOR=0.41, 95%CI: 0.18 - 0.91) with mental distress.

Conclusion: About one fifth of the students were found to be mentally distressed. Designing prevention sand treatments programs addressing the identified factors is important.

Key words: Mental distress, substance Use, university, tertiary education


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688