Prevalence of depression in students of a medical college in New Delhi: A cross-sectional study

Australas Med J. 2012;5(5):247-50. doi: 10.4066/AMJ.2012.750. Epub 2012 May 31.


Background: Medical education is associated with various pressures and stresses which can lead to depression. This study was undertaken to discover the prevalence of depression in medical students and various factors contributing to depression.

Method: This is a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study. Using stratified random sampling, 237 students were selected according to year of study. Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), based on PRIME-MD Today, was used to make a provisional diagnosis of depression.

Results: The overall prevalence of provisionally diagnosed depressive and major depressive disorder using PHQ-9 was 21.5% and 7.6%, respectively. Year of study and academic performance of students had a statistically significant association with depression. Other factors, including gender, self-reported past history of depression, family history of psychiatric disorders, type of social support, family structure, number of siblings and education of parents were not found to have any significant association with prevalence of depression in the study. It was also observed that students were reluctant to seek help for depressive symptoms.

Keywords: Medical students; academic performance; depression.