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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

versión impresa ISSN 1816-8949

Resumen

AMARILLA, Diego et al. National University of Asunción medical students’ perceptions on mental health and on the barriers to accessing mental healthcare services offered by the institution. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.1, pp.109-124. ISSN 1816-8949.  https://doi.org/10.18004/anales/2021.054.01.109.

Introduction:

The study of the medical students’ perceptions on mental health is a significant research topic, since its knowledge can help to understand the main barriers to overcome to access mental healthcare services.

Objectives:

To describe the perceptions of medical students (Sajonia and San Lorenzo campuses) of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of Asunción about mental health problems and about the barriers to accessing mental healthcare services offered by the institution.

Materials and methods:

Descriptive, cross-sectional and temporally prospective observational study, with non-probabilistic sampling. Through an online survey, a series of variables were examined to describe perceptions, such as stigma, Faculty attitudes towards mental health, and barriers to accessing mental healthcare services.

Results:

243 students were surveyed. 24.7% mentioned having been treated for a mental health problem. 83.13% reported knowing a student with mental health problems at the Faculty. 81.07% indicated that stigma/shame is the most important barrier in accessing mental healthcare services offered by the institution. 89.71% said that the Faculty has the responsibility to provide better care to students with mental health problems, while 37.04% agreed that the Faculty is friendly with students with mental health problems.

Conclusion:

These findings will serve as the basis for future research on prevalent mental health problems in medical students, including ways to approach and treat them, and on what the Faculty should do to improve mental healthcare for its students.

Palabras clave : Medical students; perceptions; mental health; barriers; stigma..

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