Depression among Medical Students in Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al-Mokarramah

Dr. Basem Burhan Kazem

Joint  Program of Family Medicine – Makkah Al-Mokarramah – 2014


​Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.1 It has been considered to be the major psychiatric disease of the 20th century.2

​Medical students experience depression, burnout, and mental illness at a higher rate than the general population, with mental health deteriorating over the course of medical training. 3


​ To estimate the prevalence of depression and its levels and associated factors among medical students in Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah Al-Mokarramah, 2014.


Subjects and Methods:

​A cross-sectional analytical study was adopted. It included a representative sample of third academic year male and female students, college of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al-Mokarramah (2013-2014). Simple randomization technique was applied using Research Randomizer online program to choose students. Validated reliable Arabic version of Becks Depression Inventory questionnaire was used to diagnose depression.


​ The study included 152 third year medical students. Age of most of them (82.2%) ranged between 20 and 23 years. Slightly more than half of them (50.7%) were females. Majority of them (87.5%) were Saudi. The prevalence of depression among them was 53.9%. Mild depression was reported among more than half of those with depression (57.1%) whereas severe and extreme levels of depression were reported among 20% and 1.4% of them, respectively. Female students (53.2%) were at almost double risk for depression compared to male students (38.7%). However, this was not statistically significant (Crude OR=1.81; 95 CI: 0.95-3.44). Results of multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that presence of current or previous history of depression, family history of depression, chronic medical or psychiatric disease, history of domestic abuse or violence and history of major traumatic event were significantly associated with increased risk for depression among medical students, even after controlling for confounding effect.


​ It is concluded that a substantial proportion of third academic year medical students at Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al-Mokarramah had depression. The level of depression was mostly mild. However severe and extreme depression represents more than 21% of depressive cases.


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