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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-139

Prevalence of depressive symptoms in medical students: A pilot study

1 Department of General Medicine, Meenakshi Medical College, Hospital and Research Institute, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Sridhar
Professor of General Medicine, Principal, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCSR.JCSR_82_19

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Background: Globally, depression and depressive disorder are common amongst people of all ages, especially amongst 15–29 years old. The prevalence of depression amongst medical students was studied on the World Health Day 2017 using the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire. Objective: The objective was to study the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms amongst students of a class of MBBS based on responses collected anonymously in the year 2017. Materials and Methods: A class of students in a medical college was administered the questionnaire consisting of nine items, and 81 students participated in this study. Each item was explained, and the students were given time to think and mark their respective responses. The results of responses of 79 students who answered all questions are reported. Based on the cumulative score of their responses, depression was graded as minimal, mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe depression. Results and Discussion: Twenty-four male students and 55 female students constituted the study population. Overall, 91% of the students reported some degree of depression in the previous 2 weeks. Nearly 8.9% of the students did not have any depressive symptoms over the previous 2-week period. Almost 12.7% and 5.1% of the students reported moderately severe and severe depression, respectively. Minimal, mild and moderate depression were reported by 21.5%, 32.9% and 22.8% of the students, respectively. Students with depression were informed to consult with a psychiatrist for formal evaluation. Conclusion: The prevalence of depressive symptoms is very high amongst medical students, and a formal study with intervention is the need of the hour.

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