Screening of social phobia symptoms in a sample of Egyptian university students

Abstract Background Public speaking is a main requisite for academic achievement amongst university students. Epidemiological data on social phobia among University students in the Arab World are scarce. Objectives To screen for social phobia symptoms in a representative sample of Egyptian university students, and to highlight some putative risk factors associated with them. Methods Two thousand nine hundred and nineteen Egyptian university students participated in the study. They were screened for social phobia using Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS). Students total and subdomain scores on the BSPS were correlated with their demographic and scholastic variables. Results Social phobia symptoms were estimated to be prevalent among (44%) of the study sample. A significant (p < 0.05) negative correlation was found between students’ age and avoidance scores on BSPS and between students’ educational year and their scores on fear, avoidance and physiologic subdomains on the BSPS. Regression analysis pointed out to a number of predictive factors for the higher total BSPS scores such as female gender and being a medical student. Discussion Our study demonstrated a high rate of social phobia symptoms in university students. It also demonstrated a number of significant predictive factors associated with the domains of social phobia such as gender, BMI, scholastic year and faculty type.