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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211-216

Bullying among medical and nonmedical students at a university in Eastern Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Psychiatry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Psychiatry, Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada
3 Department of Mental Health Services, MidCentral District Health Board, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdullah A AlMulhim
Department of Psychiatry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P.O. Box 1982, Dammam 31441
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_92_17

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Background: Many medical students, junior doctors, and other health-care professionals have been affected by the negative experience of bullying. Research is scarce on bullying experienced by medical and nonmedical students in Saudi Arabia unlike what is found in Western countries. It is unclear whether being a nonmedical student modifies the risk of being bullied. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study included 400 university students using convenient sampling. The sample comprised 295 students who responded and were stratified into medical (n = 176) and nonmedical (n = 119) groups. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0 was used to analyze our data. Normality was measured using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Statistical significance was tested using chi-square test for categorical variables, and t-test for continuous variables. Results: Almost half of the respondents were found to have experienced some bullying, victimization, or other harassment during their medical education. The most common forms of bullying were verbal abuse and undue pressure to produce work (43.8%; n = 77). Nonmedical students experienced more bullying than medical students and were more likely to be female, single, and younger in age. The number of medical students subjected to sexual harassment (1.7%; n = 3) was higher than nonmedical students (0.8%; n = 1). Physical violence was more towards nonmedical (4.2%; n = 5) than medical students (1.1%, n = 2). The rates of bullying continue to be associated with anxiety and depression. Conclusions: Our data suggest similar bullying rates in the developed world but higher than previously reported in a Saudi study. Bullying or harassment affects both medical and nonmedical students and is associated with high levels of anxiety and depression.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010