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Defense of a Master’s Thesis by Hassan Musleh in the Adult Nursing Program

Sunday, April 7, 2024

 Researcher Hassan Hikmat Musleh, a student in the master’s program in adult nursing, has defended his thesis titled "Association between Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) among Students in a Palestinian University: A Cross-Sectional Study".

This study aims to identify irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, and stress as well as the relationship between them among Palestinian university students. The researcher used a cross-sectional quantitative analytical design, for a sample of 372 university students from 13 faculties at the Arab American University in Palestine, and they filled out a self-questionnaire containing the Rome 4 criteria for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome, and a depression, anxiety, and depression scale tool.

The findings of the study revealed that the majority of students did not have a family history of irritable bowel syndrome (73.7%). Using the Rome IV criteria, the average total score for the IBS questions was 9, with the (unspecified) subtype being the most common subtype (38.7%), followed by the (mixed) type (23.0%) and the (constipation) type (22.3%). .

The study showed that nearly a third of participants had normal levels of depression (34.7%), anxiety (30.1%), and stress (37.9%). Statistically significant findings included higher IBS scores among females, older students, those with a family history of IBS, higher caffeine consumption, and sleep disturbances. Anxiety and stress predicted IBS scores, with statistically significant correlations between stress, anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The researcher recommends conducting further studies on a larger sample that includes multiple educational institutions in Palestine.

The thesis was supervised by Dr. Dalia Touqan. The committee of examiners included Dr. Imad Thultheen and Dr. Imad Abu Khader.