Bullying and Victimization Trends in Undergraduate Medical Students – A Self-Reported Cross-Sectional Observational Survey VC05-VC08
Dr. Shaunak A Ajinkya,
Bandra Shelter Apartments, 145, Manuel Gonsalves Road, Bandra West,
Mumbai, Maharashtra-400050, India.
Introduction: Bullying is a form of behaviour that can negatively impact a person. It can lead to several deleterious consequences like low self-confidence, drop in academic performance and depression. Studies have shown that bullying behaviour exists amongst medical students also. In the medical field, it is known to negatively impact dispensing of health care and attitudes of medical students towards becoming doctors. It is very difficult for medical students to cope with such a menace as they are already burdened with a vast curriculum and rigorous schedules. There exists paucity of studies regarding bullying amongst undergraduate medical students in Indian context.
Aim: To study prevalence of peer-based bullying and victimization along with their associated factors in undergraduate medical students.
Materials and Methods: Four hundred randomly chosen undergraduate medical students were included in the study. Socio-demographic and personal details including history of substance use were recorded in a self-designed case record form. Illinois Bullying Scale was used to assess bullying behaviours. Out of total 400 students, 383 completed the survey and this data was analysed.
Results: In this study, 98.69% participants self-reported to having indulged in bullying while 88.77% reported feeling victimized. Physical (p<0.001) as well as verbal (p=0.001) bullying was found to be of significantly greater severity in males as compared to females. Students of the third year of medical school indulged in significantly (p=0.034) greater severity of physical bullying than those of other years. Alcohol consumption (p=0.001) and cigarette smoking (p<0.001) were significantly associated with physical bullying.
Conclusion: Peer-based bullying and victimization was found to be highly prevalent amongst undergraduate medical students. There is an urgent need for more detailed studies on bullying in medical students so that remedial measures can be initiated and steps to limit such behaviours can be looked at seriously.