Prevalence of Anxiety and Associated Factors among University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study in Japan

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Mental health difficulties can impact students’ motivation, focus, and ability to communicate with others. Students attending medical universities are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mood changes for the first time. However, no study has examined their prevalence among Japanese rehabilitation students. This study investigated the prevalence of anxiety among Japanese rehabilitation students and aimed to identify its predictors. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 148 first-year physical and occupational therapy students at a private medical university in Japan in June 2022. Data on sociodemographic and personal characteristics, such as gender, age, subject major, regular exercise, place of residence, and sleeping hours, were recorded using an original questionnaire. Instruments included the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, COVID-19 questionnaire, and Beck Depression Inventory–Second Edition (BDI-II). The results indicated that 83 (56%) and 77 (52%) students exhibited state anxiety and trait anxiety symptoms, respectively. Thirty-four (23%) students experienced mild depressive symptoms. Associations were further determined between gender, subject major, handling of stress, loneliness, satisfaction with life, satisfaction with social connections, anxiety about the future, satisfaction with school life, fulfillment of friendships, and depression. Several variables demonstrated a statistically significant association: handling stress (p < 0.05; 95% CI 0.409–2.472), satisfaction with life (p < 0.01; 95% CI 0.500–0.897), anxiety about the future (p < 0.01; 95% CI 1.397–4.087), and depression (total score of BDI-II, p < 0.01; 95% CI 1.555–100.742). Our results emphasize that universities must establish a system for early identification and support of anxiety and depression in students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-861
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Promotion
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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