The prevalence of insomnia and characteristics of sleep patterns collected from sleep diary among medical students of University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Introduction: Insomnia is a common disease in all societies and age groups. Among them, medical students are one of the population most susceptible to sleep problems. Studies from many countries have shown high prevalence of insomnia among medical students. Sleep diary is the gold standard for evaluating subjective insomnia and other sleep disorders. This research aims to study the prevalence of insomnia in Vietnamese medical students, associated factors, and their sleep patterns.

Method: In a cross-sectional survey using stratified random sampling, a total of 176 medical students was recruited, each completed a self-administered questionnaire and a 7-consecutive-day sleep diary. Demographic data and lifestyle factors were obtained from the questionnaire, while sleep patterns and quality were collected from the sleep diary. We performed data analysis using SPSS ver 22, p<0.05 was statistically significant.  

Results: Overall, out of 176 participants, 93 (52.8%) were affected by insomnia. On average, students acquired 6.2 hours of sleep each night. 70.94% of the recorded nights had total sleep time (TST) less than 7 hours. Associated factors of insomnia include sleep environment, sleep efficiency (SE), bedtime, falling asleep time, get up time, self-reported sleep quality.

Conclusion: The findings of our study revealed the high prevalence of insomnia among medical students. From recorded sleep data, we observed that sleep deprivation is also a common issue faced by the study participants. The valuable insights provided by sleep diary proved to be crucial in evaluating sleep patterns and quality.

Graphical abstract

Factors Relating to Preventive Practices of Health Science Students during the Early Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Original Research

Abstract

Objectives: We assessed the factors relating to the prevention of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for students at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in February and March 2020. A 21 item self-administered questionnaire on the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding COVID-19 was collected from students of the first to the sixth year using the strategy of simple random sampling. The aim was to establish factors that relate to practices using Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) which were estimated by the logistic regression model, p-value <0.05 shows a significant difference.

Results: Of the 551 students, 41.0% recorded responses indicating good practices toward prevention measures, while around half the students reported that they did not wash their hands for 20 full seconds (50.5%). The overall rate of good knowledge and positive attitude was 49.0% and 26.1%, respectively. When adjusted for all variables in the logistic regression model, a positive overall attitude was associated with good overall preventive practice; AOR = 1.72 (95% CI: 1.16 – 2.55). Furthermore, students mainly accessed information via social media and television (95.8% and 85.8%, respectively).

Conclusions: There were only 41.0% recorded responses indicating good practices toward prevention measures. Besides, knowledge and attitudes about COVID-19 among students were inadequate. Further health education interventions should be focused to change bad hand-washing habits via mass media messages.

Graphical abstract

The prevalence and related factors of phantom vibration among medical students: A first look in Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Background: Phantom vibration (PV) is an illusionary perception in which people perceive their mobile phone vibrates while it actually does not. Recently, PV has attracted attention in psychology and medical field. There are several studies investigating the prevalence and risk factors associated with this phenomenon. However, the findings are inconsistent. The prevalence of PV fluctuates from 21% to 89% among different groups and its mechanism remains unclear. Further understanding is necessary to identify the settings in which PV may harm the population and warrant further exploration.

Objectives: This study aims to explore the prevalence of PV among medical students in Ho Chi Minh City and settings that PV can risk people’s health. Relationships between PV and phone usage habits as well as psychiatric disturbance also are investigated.

Methods: By using online questionnaire on 377 undergraduate medical students in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the cross-sectional study explored factors associated with PV, including demographic, behavioral phone usage, and mental/emotional factors using the Self Reporting Questionaire - 20 (SRQ-20). The descriptive and association analyses were employed using R software.

Results: The study found a significant association between mental/emotional factors (i.e. mental disturbance and phone attachment) and PV (OR=2.15, 95% CI=1.21-3.81, p value=0.009; OR=1.75, 95% CI=1.02-3.01, p value=0.043 respectively), which suggests an important role of mental/emotional factors in explaining the potential mechanism of PV. A high proportion of participants also experienced PV while driving (55.5%) within the last month. This implies the impact of PV possibly becomes significant, causing an increase in the risk of traffic accident due to distracted driving.

Graphical abstract

Switching to Effective and Optimal Study Methods - A necessary tool for Educational Success

Case Study

Abstract

The secret of educational success and splendid future with prosperous career lies in the constant hard work performed in a smart way. By that way, the change or modification in study methods, exam strategies, and learning techniques is necessity. Deriving from our own experience as medical students from some developing countries from all over the world, authors support some tips and methods to approach the medical field more productive.

Graphical abstract

How to overcome challenges related to English and academic writing skills when studying abroad

Case Study

Abstract

Nowadays, pursuing postgraduate study abroad after completing a Medical Doctor (MD) degree in their home country is common among Vietnamese doctors. There are several challenges in studying overseas that international students need to overcome to ensure a favorable outcome of their learning journey. The presenting paper mainly discussed about the challenges related to English and academic writing skills and aimed to provide some tips for studying effectively in developed countries. Based on his own experiences as a postgraduate international student in Australia, the author found that a successful learning journey could be facilitated by (1) feeling free to ask, (2) making friends with the locals and other international students, (3) exploring the local life, (4) learning and using a reference management software, and (5) attending all free academic skills workshops and consultations provided by the university.

Graphical abstract

Evaluation of ESP Effectiveness in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Since 2011, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) has been changed in accordance with pharmaceutical specialization orientation and did apply the active learning-learner centered teaching methods. Our study used three self-administered questionnaires to collect the feedbacks from sophomores, final-year and pharmacist graduating in 2016 in evaluating ESP course effectiveness. Data analyzed with STATA 13 indicated that English lecturers made efforts to organize the active learning activities in ESP class but their target has neither been effective nor met the required students’ needs in academic purposes as well as their occupational purposes. In addition, students’ passivity and lack of apparent motivation made it more difficult to apply the active learning method. Generally, final-year pharmacy students and newly graduated pharmacists, besides their moderate English competence, had a low frequency in using English. It is also found that there exists the relationship between final-year pharmacy students’ frequency of using English, their English competence and pharmaceutical specialization as well as that between English use frequency and occupation.

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