Objective: The mental health of tertiary education students is an area of increasing concern worldwide. The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress in first-year tertiary education students in Hong Kong.
Method: Depression, anxiety and stress were measured by the 42-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, completed on the web by participating students anonymously. Results: A total of 7915 students completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 27.5%. Depression, anxiety and stress levels of moderate severity or above were found in 21%, 41% and 27% of our respondents, respectively.
Conclusions: The web-based survey methodology was well accepted by our sample group of tertiary education students. We found high rates of psychological morbidity in first-year tertiary education students in Hong Kong. The high prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in the first year of college life is alarming. It illustrates the need for primary and secondary prevention measures, with development of adequate and appropriate support services for this group. [Copyright of Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry is the property of Informa Healthcare . Full article may be available at the publisher's website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1614.2006.01883.x]