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Depression among medical students in Saudi medical colleges: a cross-sectional study

Authors Alharbi H, Almalki A, Alabdan F, Haddad B

Received 8 August 2018

Accepted for publication 16 October 2018

Published 4 December 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 887—891

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S182960

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Hatem Alharbi, Abdulaziz Almalki, Fawaz Alabdan, Bander Haddad

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Introduction: Major depressive disorder is a common mental disorder worldwide that has many clinical presentations and is associated with many diseases. The aim of this study is to assess the levels of depression among medical students in Saudi medical colleges.
Methods: A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample conducted in Saudi medical colleges. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used for screening and associated with sociodemographic characteristics.
Results: A total of 2,562 medical students from 20 universities were recruited into this study, and 1,572 (61.4%) of the participants were females and 990 (38.6%) were males. Depression symptoms are found to be associated with college years, living conditions and smoking status (P<0.05).
Conclusion: High levels of depression symptoms were found among Saudi medical students (83.4%). Students in the first years of college should be screened for depression, while education and support for medical students in these years are essential.

Keywords: depression, medical students, Saudi Arabia, medical education

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