Frequency of common psychosomatic symptoms and its influence on self- perceived health in a Hungarian student population

Bettina Pikó, Katalin Barabás, Krisztina Boda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objectives of this investigation were to describe the frequency of some common psychosomatic symptoms and variations in self-assessed health status and to determine whether there are gender differences in these symptoms and the perception of one's own health in a student population. Finally, we examined the relationship between the frequency of symptoms and self-perceived health. The design is a cross-sectional survey, as the first phase of a longitudinal cohort study. The participants in the study (n=691) were students of the medical faculty of Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary, aged 18-31 years consisting of 39.4% men and 60.6% women. The response rate was 70.5%. Data were collected by using a self-administered questionnaire containing various items designed to measure self-perceived health and health-related variables including some common psychosomatic symptoms. The following symptoms appeared the most frequent among students in both sexes: sleeping problems, chronic fatigue and backache. Using the appropriate t-test, mean scores of the symptom indices by sex showed an excess of occurrence among female students in particular of 2 symptoms: tension headache and chronic fatigue. Most students evaluated their own health as good. Students who scored lower on self-perceived health had experienced more symptoms. Based on these results we can conclude that the frequency of the symptoms under study has an influence on self-perceived health. A follow-up of the survey population seems to be necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean journal of public health
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997

Keywords

  • Gender differences of health state
  • Psychosomatic symptoms
  • Self-perceived health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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