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39 FREQUENCY AND CORRELATES OF MAJOR DEPRESSION AMONG A NATIONAL SAMPLE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS.
  1. M. Kaldas1,
  2. S. Bazargan-Hejazi1,
  3. A. Shah1,
  4. R. W. Lindstrom1,
  5. K. E. Wolf1
  1. 1Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Abstract

Medical school involves high stress with long working hours, culminating in an intense and demanding experience. Stresses and pressures encountered during medical school place medical students at a high risk of depression.

Purpose of the Study To assess frequency and correlates of major depression among a national sample of medical students.

Method A retrospective, secondary analysis of 2,710 Web-based surveys collected from a national sample of medical students from 36 accredited US medical schools. Study measures included sociodemographics, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Alcohol Use Identification Test (AUDIT), stressful life events, social support, perceived risk, impulsivity/risk-taking behaviors, average hours of sleep in 24 hours, and perceived level of adequate exercise.

Results Fifty-eight percent of respondents were in the first and second year of medical school, 60% were female, and the majority were not married (73%). Frequency of major (CES-D ≥ 22), moderate, and no depression was reported by 30% (n = 797), 46% (n = 1,243), and 24% (n = 643) of students, respectively. Among 12 variables in the multinomial regression analysis, predictors of major depression include illicit drug use, perception of risk, impulsivity, social support, report of stress, marital status, and positive AUDIT (p ≤ .05).

Conclusion Our findings suggest that depression is an important issue in the life of medical students that needs further attention. Moreover, our findings underlie the importance of personality and substance use and abuse factors in the study of depression among medical students.

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