Measuring Happiness and Self-perceived Social Health of Iranian Medical Students



Abstract Background: Based on WHO (World Health Organization) definition of 'health' as an asset, not merely the absence of disease or disability, positive health indicators has fast become a key concern of health system. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess self-perceived social health and happiness of Iranian medical students. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at a public medical school in 2015. The target population of the study was all students from three educational levels (basic science students, externs and interns). Social health was assessed by a scale in three domains named as 'community', 'family', and 'friends and relatives', containing 33 questions with a series of declarative items providing a total score of social health ranging from 33-165. To measure happiness a 40 item questionnaire was used. Responses to each item were given on a five- point Likert style scale. The score of items were added up to provide the whole score of happiness ranging from 40 to 200. The study protocol was approved by executive and ethical research board of the institution. Results: A total of 150 students were participated with mean age of 23.2 (SD=2.3), of whom 56% were females. The mean of self- perceived social health score of medical students was 102.8 (95% CI: 100.0-105.6). Happiness score of medical students was 144.0 (95% CI: 140.4-147.5) in a range between 104 and 188. Pearson correlation coefficient between social health and happiness was 0.68 (P- value