Support for Medical Students with Mental Health Problems: a Conceptual Model
- First Online:
- 330 Downloads
Medical students experience higher prevalence of mental illness than age-matched controls and are less likely to access appropriate help when this happens. The aim of this study was to determine the range of strategies deployed by medical schools to support medical students with mental health concerns and to use this to identify distinct categories.
Websites and documents relating to all 32 UK medical schools were looked at, as were reports for quality assurance visits carried out by the General Medical Council (UK). A structured telephone interview was carried out with medical schools. Support services were examined by tracing the path that might be taken by a hypothetical student with mental health concerns of varying severity, seeing what was required and what was available at each stage.
A range of support strategies is available to most medical students both from their medical school and from generic services in the university. Medical students will usually first contact a personal tutor or a senior member of faculty or be contacted by them as a result of concerns raised either via performance issues or by another student. While individual support interventions are mostly based on evidence of effectiveness, there is no unifying theory in terms of what constitutes effective support. To enable analysis of support interventions and comparison across providers, a six-stage conceptual model of prevention was developed. The six stages are the following: prevention, identification, referral, escalation, treatment, and reintegration.
The staged model, derived from analysis of existing interventions, provides a framework for evaluation of current provision and comparison of different methods of delivery. Moreover, it provides a framework for future research.
KeywordsMedical students Emotional problems Support
- 3.Dahlin M, Runeson B. Burnout and psychiatric morbidity among medical students entering clinical training: a three year prospective questionnaire and interview-based study. BMC Medical Education. 2007;7.Google Scholar
- 9.Sreeramareddy CT, Shankar PR, Binu VS, Mukhopadhyay C, Ray B, Menezes RG. Psychological morbidity, sources of stress and coping strategies among undergraduate medical students of Nepal. BMC Med Educ. 2007;7:26.Google Scholar
- 16.Chew-Graham CA, Rogers A, Yassin N: ‘I wouldn’t want it on my CV or their records’: medical students’ experiences of help-seeking for mental health problems. Medical education 2003;37:873--880.Google Scholar
- 17.Dahlin ME, Runeson B. Burnout and psychiatric morbidity among medical students entering clinical training: a three year prospective questionnaire and interview-based study. BMC Med Educ. 2007;7:6.Google Scholar
- 18.Firth-Cozens J. Interventions to improved physicians wellbeing & patient care. Soc Sci Med. 2001;52:223–5.Google Scholar
- 19.Department of Health: mental health and ill health in doctors. London 2008. p. 36.Google Scholar
- 20.Grant A, Rix A, Mattick K, Jones D, Winter P. Identifying good practice among medical schools in the support of students with mental health concerns: a report prepared for the General Medical Council. Cardiff: Cardiff University; 2013. http://www.gmcuk.org/Identifying_good_practice_among_medcal_schools_in_the_support_of_students_with_mental_health_concerns.pdf_52884825.pdf.
- 21.High Quality Care for All: NHS Next Stage Review Final Report. London, Department of Health; 2008. http://www.officialdocuments.gov.uk/document/cm74/7432/7432.pdf.