+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Health-promoting factors in the freshman year of medical school: a longitudinal study

Health-promoting factors in the freshman year of medical school: a longitudinal study

Medical Education 50(6): 646-656

The freshman year of medical school is a stressful period in the lives of future doctors. Resilience to this stress differs greatly, leading to different health outcomes. Less resilient students, whose health may deteriorate early in their education, are at greater risk for developing stress-related diseases. Early identification of individuals at risk and the provision of tailored health-promoting interventions might prevent this. This study was designed to investigate: (i) how the health of medical students develops over the freshman year, and (ii) whether certain protective factors can predict general and mental health status after 1 year of medical education. A prospective, longitudinal, observational study was conducted at one medical school. Self-rated general and mental health status before and after the freshman year were used as outcomes. In addition to socio-demographic variables and leisure activities, personality and study-related behaviour and experience were surveyed as potential predictors. Both descriptive techniques and logistic regression analyses were employed to identify predictors for general and mental health separately. At baseline, 93% of medical students rated their general health and 88% rated their mental health as good. These frequencies declined over the first year to 76% and 84%, respectively. For general health, regular physical activity was the strongest predictor (odds ratio [OR] 4.58). Satisfaction with life (OR 1.18) and balance and mental stability (OR 1.20) emerged as positive predictors, and age (OR 0.85) and striving for perfection (OR 0.76) as negative predictors. Mental health status was predicted by emotional distancing (OR 1.25), experience of social support (OR 0.73), neuroticism (OR 0.89) and age (OR 0.85). Self-rated general and mental health declined throughout the first year of medical education. Physical activity proved to be a strong predictor for the maintenance of good general health. This finding may represent a starting point for health-promoting interventions, such as the provision of time slots for physical activity.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 057972517

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27170083

DOI: 10.1111/medu.12987

Related references

Risk factors at medical school for later severe depression: a 15-year longitudinal, nationwide study (NORDOC). Journal of Affective Disorders 146(1): 106-111, 2013

Risk Factors Measured During Medical School for Later Hazardous Drinking: A 10-year, Longitudinal, Nationwide Study (NORDOC). Alcohol and Alcoholism 51(1): 71-76, 2016

Factors in medical school that predict postgraduate mental health problems in need of treatment. A nationwide and longitudinal study. Medical Education 35(2): 110-120, 2001

Hassles and uplifts during the freshman year of medical school. Psychological Reports 60(1): 85-86, 1987

Promoting sustainable community service in the 4th year of medical school: a longitudinal service-learning elective. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 26(3): 296-303, 2015

Health-promoting factors in medical students and students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: design and baseline results of a comparative longitudinal study. Bmc Medical Education 14: 134, 2015

Epidemiological health factors and their relationship with academic performance during the first year of medical school. Study of two generations. Gaceta Medica de Mexico 145(2): 81-90, 2009

A Comparison of Freshman Medical School Performance With Pre-Admission Factors. Academic Medicine 15(6): 387-390, 1940

Transition from Secondary School to Medical School: The Role of Self-Study and Self-Regulated Learning Skills in Freshman Burnout. Acta Medica Portuguesa 29(12): 803-808, 2017

Promoting school connectedness: evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Journal of School Health 72(4): 138-146, 2002

Increasing incidence of fracture and its sex difference in school children: 20 year longitudinal study based on school health statistic in Japan. Journal of Orthopaedic Science 23(1): 151-155, 2017

A longitudinal study of changes in ego identity status during the freshman year at college. Developmental Psychology 5(1): 167-173, 1971

Longitudinal study of changes in ego identity status from the freshman to the senior year at college. Developmental Psychology 10(3): 387-392, 1974

The devil is in the third year: a longitudinal study of erosion of empathy in medical school. Academic Medicine 84(9): 1182-1191, 2009

Objective Studies of the Achievements of Training-School and Public-School Pupils in the Freshman Year of the High School. Elementary School Journal 19(4): 291-310, 1918