Prevalence and factors associated with anxiety among university students of health sciences in Brazil: findings and implications

Julia Vasconcelos de Sá Alves, Waléria de Paula, Patrícia Ribeiro Rezende Netto, Brian Godman, Renata Cristina Rezende Macedo do Nascimento, Wendel Coura-Vital

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Objective: The aim was to evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with anxiety disorders among university students of health sciences at Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional study between March to June 2019. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire including sociodemographic, academic, family and behavioral issues. The Beck Anxiety Inventory was used to assess anxiety. Estimates were obtained through the prevalence ratio and Poisson multivariate analysis. Results: 493 students participated with a mean age of 23.1 and predominantly women (79.9%). All students had some degree of anxiety, with the frequency of the severe, moderate and mild forms being 28.0%, 29.8% and 27.0%, respectively. The factors associated with anxiety included having suffered psychological and/or physical violence in childhood, having suicidal thoughts, having a deceased parent, living with parents, being dissatisfied with the course and being in the exam period. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety was high in our study and family problems prior to entering university seem to significantly influence the degree of anxiety, which may compromise the student´s academic and social performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jan 2021


  • anxiety
  • students
  • prevalence
  • mental disorders
  • Brazil

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