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Arch Hellen Med, 29(2), March-April 2012, 195-201


Research of quality of life in students of programmes of postgraduate studies in Public Health

Μ. Velana, Α. Barbouni, Κ. Merakou, C. Koutis, T. Kremastinou
National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE This study focused on the assessment of psychological health among students in Master's Degree programs in Public Health, and of their satisfaction, symptoms of stress and ways of coping during their studies. This period is characterized by a heavy workload for the students, in relation both to the subject of their studies and the time that they spend on studying. In addition, the high expectations of the modern labor market result in a highly demanding and pressured study environment.

METHOD Assessment was made on 162 students (40 males). The questionnaires completed by the students included the Satisfaction Scale-Behavior Elements, the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), and Ways of Coping. The latter two questionnaires were translated into Greek and weighted for the purposes of the study.

RESULTS Of the 162 participants, 62 reported stress symptoms according to the GHQ-28 subscales: (a) Somatic symptoms, (b) anxiety, (c) social dysfunction and (d) depression. Those students who presented psychological problems reported being less satisfied with their study programs. The presence of psychological problems was shown to affect the students' stress management strategies. Students with stress symptoms maintained a more passive position.

CONCLUSIONS A significant proportion of students in health related Master's degree programs report psychological health problems. There is a relationship between study satisfaction, psychological health and strategic stress management. Poor psychological health in turn has a conceivable impact on satisfaction and on management strategies in high pressure study situations. As a result, the students are confronted by ever increasing difficulties in adaptation to their situation. It would be useful to investigate the factors that contribute to the stress among students in Public Health which affects their mental health adversely.

Key words: Health professionals, Quality of life, Postgraduate students, Psychological health.

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