Factors Predicting Help-Seeking Intention for Mental Health Problems among Medical Students
Objective : Examine the factors related to and predicting help-seeking intentions for mental health problems among medical students.
Method : A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted to determine the predictive correlation among selected factors. The participants were 219, medical students who had studied in the 1st - 6th year class and were asked to complete a self-reported online questionnaire consisting of general health questionnaire (GHQ-28), the emotional resilience assessment scale, and the professional psychological help-seeking questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product moment correlation and multiple linear regressions.
Results : Among the 219 students who completed a survey, a majority of them were 1st year students (58.4%) and about half of them were women (54.8%). Six factors were found to be significantly correlated with the help-seeking intentions for mental health problems: prior experiences with mental health service, attitudes towards behavior, behavioral beliefs, subjective norm, normative beliefs, and control beliefs. Out of these variables, normative belief, prior experiences with mental health service, and behavioral control beliefs might predicted and explained 34.2% of variance in the participants’ intention to seek professional help (R2 =.342). Normative beliefs is shown to have the largest effect size (β =.347, p < .01), while the behavioral control believe had the effect size of β =.253, p < .01. The results show that students who had previously received mental health service, on average, have a higher mean score (β =.229, p < .01) on help-seeking intention than those who never received mental health service.
Conclusion : Factors found to be correlated with help-seeking intentions for mental health problems including prior experiences with mental health service, attitudes towards behavior, behavioral beliefs, subjective norm, normative beliefs, and control beliefs. Factors found to have unique predicting effects were normative beliefs, prior experiences with mental health service, and behavioral control beliefs.
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