Prevalence of depression and its associated factors using Beck Depression Inventory among students of a medical college in Karnataka

Indian J Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;54(3):223-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.102412.


Background and objective: Depression among medical students is an area of increasing concern worldwide. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of depression and its associated factors among medical students.

Materials and methods: A stratified random sample of 400 students was assessed using Beck Depression Inventory by investigators. Associations between depression and class of studying, social factors like alcohol use, drug addiction, family problems, family history of depression, and staying away from home were analyzed by univariate analysis.

Results: The overall prevalence of depression was found to be 71.25%. Among those with depression, a majority (80%) had mild and moderate degree of depression. The study showed that 46.3% (132) of the depressed were females and 53.7% (153) were males. According to cut-off scores, 115 students (29.8%) scored as normal (0-9), 111 (27.8%) as mild (10-18), 117 (29.3%) as moderate (19-29), 30 (7.5%) as severe (30-40), and 27 (6.7%) as very severe (>40) depression. The prevalence of depression was comparatively less among 1(st) and 2(nd) year medical students (57% and 50%, respectively) and the difference between the grade of depression and year of studying was found to be significant (χ(2)=122, P<0.001). The prevalence was significantly more among those with family problems and family history of depression.

Conclusion: Depression is highly prevalent among medical students in this area. Our findings point to the importance of broad screening and psychiatric counseling of this vulnerable population.

Keywords: Beck Depression Inventory; depression; medical students.