2018 | Month: | Volume:5 | Issue:1 | Page:11-19

The Relationship between Loneliness and Suicidal Ideation in Private Medical and Dental Students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Khalid Aboalshamat, Wejdan Salman, Razan Almehman, Amal Maghrabi, Khadija Alamoudi, Amani Najjar,  Aeshah Alshehri

Introduction: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicidal attempts, and loneliness among dental and medical students in the western region of Saudi Arabia.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated 607 dental and medical students and interns in private colleges in Saudi Arabia. A self-administrated questionnaire was based on the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale. Suicidal ideation and attempts were measured by a questionnaire adopted from previous research. The data was collected at the end of the year at examination time.

Results: The loneliness mean was M= 45.14 (SD 8.66). Among the participants, 37.7% had experienced suicidal ideation throughout their lives, 33.4% had experienced suicidal ideation during the previous 12 months, and 23.2% had attempted suicide. Loneliness was significantly related with suicidal ideation during the previous 12 months (p <0.001) and with suicidal attempts (p = 0.005). The results showed that the following subgroups had higher risk for suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts: female, low family income, married, and dental students.

Conclusion: The high levels of suicidal ideation and attempts among dental and medical students in the western region of Saudi Arabia call for the implementation of professional counselling and health promotion programs.





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