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LETTERS TO EDITOR  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 735-736
Survey on women's mental health awareness among medical undergraduates and postgraduates


1 Acting Consultant Psychiatrist, Exe Adult Community Mental Health Team, Exeter, Devon Partnership Trust, England
2 Department of Psychiatry, Subharti Medical College and C.S.S. Hospital, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

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Date of Submission25-Jun-2019
Date of Decision23-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance02-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication12-Dec-2020
 

How to cite this article:
Agarwal S, Rathi S, Khosla N. Survey on women's mental health awareness among medical undergraduates and postgraduates. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:735-6

How to cite this URL:
Agarwal S, Rathi S, Khosla N. Survey on women's mental health awareness among medical undergraduates and postgraduates. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 22];62:735-6. Available from: https://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2020/62/6/735/303160




Sir,

This is to submit the results of a survey conducted in 2015–2016 in a tertiary care academic hospital with fully functioning psychiatry unit, to assess the awareness regarding women's mental health disorders among medical undergraduates and postgraduates. Participants (171) in the study comprised undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as medical faculty covering the age group from 18 to 62 years of age. Majority of the participants were males (57.8%), undergraduate students (76.6%), followed by postgraduate students (19.29%), were unmarried (91.8%), belonged to middle-class socioeconomic status (70.1%), and came from an urban background (85.9%). 67.8% of the participants lived in nuclear families, and 61.4% had 2–5 female members in their family.

Participants were evaluated for awareness regarding premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression/psychosis, and premenopausal psychiatric symptoms as a whole. Majority (53.2%) of the participants either denied the existence of these disorders or were unaware about them (35%). 14.61% of the study participants were aware of all these disorders, and majority gained knowledge about them during medical training as reported by them. Only 35.6% of the participants were aware that these psychiatric disorders have biological basis and 57.8% had had no exposure to any awareness campaign regarding women's mental health issues. Majority of the participants (66.6%) were interested in attending an academic activity if organized to increase their knowledge about women's mental health conditions.

Women in India are more prone to malnutrition, neglect, abuse in the form of domestic violence, and social pressure to serve multiple roles. Apart from these, the hormonal changes that women encounter throughout their life starting from menarche to childbirth to menopause add on to the vulnerability of their mental health.[1] As an example, depression, the most common psychiatric disorder, affects about 50% more women than men, as stated by the World Health Organization.[2]

The prevalence of premenstrual dysphoric disorder was found to be 18.4% in a cross-sectional survey done at five colleges in Gujarat, India,[3] and 13.8% in a study conducted among medical college students in a women's medical college in South India,[4] whereas the prevalence for postpartum depression is 22% in India.[5]

Not many studies have been conducted to assess the awareness regarding women's mental health problems, and only a few studies have tried to focus on psychiatric disorders related to hormonal changes throughout the reproductive period. Lack of complete awareness among the medical fraternity about these disorders is a shocking revelation which can give us an idea about the level of awareness among the general population, and necessitates an increment in conductance of awareness programs regarding the same.

It is necessary that steps be taken to disseminate the knowledge about women's mental health and associated psychiatric disorders among medical professionals, so that holistic approach to the management of health issues in women can be ensured.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Bohra N, Srivastava S, Bhatia MS. Depression in women in Indian context. Indian J Psychiatry 2015;57:S239-45.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
The World Health Report. 2001. Available from: http://www.who.int/whr/2001/en/[Last accessed on 2014 Jun 30].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Raval CM, Panchal BN, Tiwari DS, Vala AU, Bhatt RB. Prevalence of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder among college students of Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Indian J Psychiatry 2016;58:164-70.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
4.
Budarapu S, Sadam H, Nageswari DM, Reddy HK, Dhanekula G. A study to assess the prevalence of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder and various coping strategies used by students in a womens medical college from South India. Int J Contemp Med Res 2018;5:2393-915.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Upadhyay RP, Chowdhury R, Aslyeh Salehi, Sarkar K, Singh SK, Sinha B, et al. Postpartum depression in India: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Bull World Health Organ 2017;95:706-17C.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Supriya Agarwal
Acting Consultant Psychiatrist, Exe Adult Community Mental Health Team, Exeter, Devon Partnership Trust
England
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_242_19

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