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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-103

A cross-sectional analysis of barriers to health-care seeking among medical students across training period


1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Urology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_34_17

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Background and Aims: Very little information is available on how needs and perceptions to service utilization may change with duration of medical training. Our objective was to compare the self-reported barriers to health-care seeking for mental and physical health services separately between 1st year and final year medical students. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we invited all medical students of the concerned cohorts to complete a prevalidated checklist and 28-item self-reported questionnaire about perceived barriers to health-care seeking. The questionnaire had separate items pertaining to usage of mental and physical health-care services. Results: The response rate of the 1st year and final year cohorts were 83.8% and 86.6%, respectively. Lack of time, unawareness about where to seek help, cost issues, and fear of future academic jeopardy were more common concerns among 1st year students to the usage of mental health services (odds ratio [OR] 0.27, 0.45,0.09, and 0.49, respectively) whereas issues of stigma were more commonly reported by final year students for using mental health services (OR = 2.87). In contrast, the barriers in using physical health services were broadly comparable between the two cohorts. Conclusion: Differences exist between medical students in various years of training particularly with regard to self-reported barriers and perceptions particularly about using mental health-care services. This may have key implications for designing and delivery of service provisions in this group.


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