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Braz J Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;32(1):11-9.

Common mental disorders among medical students at Universidade Federal de Sergipe: a cross-sectional study.

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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Medicina e Saúde, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil.

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  • Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2010 Jun;32(2):205.



Estimate the prevalence of common mental disorder and its associated factors among medical students of the Universidade Federal de Sergipe.


A cross-sectional study was carried out, applying Self Reporting Questionnaire-20 to 473 students from the 512 medical students enrolled in 2006 and compared with compared with a structured questionnaire by the authors containing information on the socio-demographic characteristics, the teaching-learning process and the psycho-emotional experiences of the students. Freshmen were excluded after initial comparison with the students already exposed to the medical course. Statistical analysis by multiple logistic regression after calculating simple and adjusted odds ratio (OR).


The general prevalence of common mental disorder was 40% (n = 473); after exclusion of the freshmen it increased to 42.5% among students from the 2nd to the 12th semester. It was higher among those who did not have faith in their acquisition of the skills needed to become a good doctor (OR = 2.82), who felt less comfortable about course activities (OR = 3.75), who considered themselves emotionally stressed (OR = 2.14), among those who did not consider themselves happy (OR = 2.85), who believed that the course did not match their expectations (OR = 1.64) and those who had a prior diagnosis of mental disorder by a psychiatrist (OR = 3.78).


The results suggest the necessity of changes to the teaching-learning process and the establishment of a preventive mental health program for medical students.

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