Original Research

Psychological distress and tension-type headache among health professional senior students in a historically black university in south africa.

S.L. Amosun, P. Naido
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 58, No 2 | a119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v58i2.119 | © 2002 S.L. Amosun, P. Naido | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 January 2002 | Published: 16 February 2002

About the author(s)

S.L. Amosun, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
P. Naido, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

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Studies in well-defined populations contribute to the body ofevidence that the psychosocial aspects of people’s environment can have a substantial effect on their physical health. Senior students in health professional education programs were interviewed using structured instruments to assess the prevalence of psychological distress and tension-type headaches in a young adult university population.  Almost 70%of the study sample was either at risk of becoming distressed, or already distressed with somatic or depressive symptoms. About two-thirds of thestudents reported symptoms of either tension-type headache or other typesof headache, while over 30% of all the students complained of tension-type headache. Almost 20% of the students whoreported symptoms of tension-type headache were also distressed, while another 47% were at risk of being distressed.The possible impact on the academic performance of the students and their future role as health care professionalsis discussed.


distress; tension-type headache; health professional education programs; students


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