Dr. Bander Khalid Jarwan
Joint Program of Family Medicine – Makkah Al-Mokarramah – 2012
Medical students are a valuable human resource for our future and depression in them leads to less productivity, reduced quality of life, learning difficulties and may negatively affect patient care.
To determine the prevalence of depression among 1st, 2nd and 3rd year medical students and its associated factors in Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, 2012.
A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted including male and female students registered at 1st, 2nd and 3rd years in the Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah. A systematic random sampling technique with proportional allocation was adopted to select students from both genders. Screening of medical students for depression was conducted using the Arabic version of Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaire. Another questionnaire was used including all necessary variables that could be associated with depression among medical students.
The study included 136 medical students. Their age ranged between 19 and 24 years with a mean of 20.9±1.1 years. Slightly more than half of them (53.7%) were females. The overall prevalence of depressive symptoms among medical students was 30.9%. It was mild among 18.4%, moderate among 9.6% while it was severe among 2.9% of them. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was higher among females than males (34.2% versus 27%). However, this difference was not statistically significant. Logistic regression analysis revealed that medical students of the third academic level were 70% less likely to have depression compared to those of first academic level. Those who reported a history of loss of first grade relative were at almost three-folded risk for depression opposed to those who had not history of loss of first grade relative in the last year. Students who had moderate and high performance in examination were 70% and 84%, respectively less likely to develop depression compared to those who had low performance in examination. Those who had a history of previous or current depression were at almost three-folded risk for depression opposed to those who had not history of previous or current depression.
Depression is a significant hidden problem among Saudi medical students. Almost one-third of medical students enrolled in the first three academic years of Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah had symptoms suggestive of depression