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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(6): 1303-1311

Internalizing behavior problems and body dysmorphic disorder features among medical students who consume pharmaceutical drugs as coping motives

Abdullah Omar Alabdulkarim, Sajida Agha, Mohmmed Alzomia, Saleh Alsuqayhi, Abdullah Alosaimi, Abdulrahman Alhumaidi.


Background: The high demands of medical education and body feature impact the psychological well-being of a student. This study was aimed at assessing the relationship between internalizing behavior, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) features, and substance use among medical students.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 155 medical students of both genders from pre-clinical years and clinical years in the College of Medicine from November 2019 to May 2020. Two self-administered validated questionnaires, depression, anxiety and stress scale and body image disturbance questionnaire, were employed for the data collection. Chi-square analysis was done to compare the responses of students. A test with a p value < 0.05 was declared as significant.
Results: There were a total of 155 participants; male students accounted for 69.7% (n = 108), and female students accounted for 30.3% (n = 47). In addition, first- and fourth-year medical students constituted nearly 60% of the total participants. Overall, depression, anxiety, and stress were found among 45.2%, 55.5%, and 33.3% of students, respectively. Out of the total subjects, 12.9% of the medical students reported BDD features. Moreover, 23.9% of the participants admitted to substance use for relief from the internalizing behaviors and BDD from which they were suffering. However, 23.7% of the subjects with nobody’s dysmorphic disorder also reported substance use.
Conclusion: It has been concluded that there is a positive association between internalizing behaviors and BDD
features among medical students. Substance use was found more common in students with BDD.

Key words: Body dysmorphic features, internalizing behavior, stress, depression, anxiety

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