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Contemp Clin Dent. 2015 Apr-Jun;6(2):215-22. doi: 10.4103/0976-237X.156050.

Evaluation of anxiety, depression and suicidal intent in undergraduate dental students: A cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India.
2
Department of Periodontics, MM College of Dental Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is an increasing amount of stress in undergraduate dental students leading to anxiety, depression, and suicidal attempts/suicide.

AIMS:

This study aims to evaluate anxiety, depression and suicidal intent in undergraduate dental students and to find out the various areas of stress.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire (to assess academic and nonacademic areas of stress) and three scales-Hamilton scale for anxiety (HAM-A); Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS) and Beck's Suicide Intent Scale (BSI). Descriptive statistics; Pearson's Chi-square test; Multiple ANOVA; Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney test were used to analyze the data at the significant level of P ≤ 0.05.

RESULTS:

In a total of 258 dental undergraduate students, academic areas of stress that were found to be statistically significant were long teaching hours (P = 0.002); high workload (P ≤ 0.001); frequency of tests (P ≤ 0.001) and competition/fear of failure (P = 0.009). Lack of interest in the profession was a statistically significant nonacademic area for stress (P ≤ 0.001). The students of first and final year reported higher anxiety (HAM-A 13.93 ± 6.908 and 16.44 ± 7.637 respectively) and depression (HDRS 14.29 ± 6.302 and 14.22 ± 5.422); whereas suicidal intent was reported almost the same throughout the study sample (BSI 5.65 ± 5.465).

CONCLUSION:

An increasing level of anxiety, depression and suicidal intent due to various stressors in undergraduate dental students indicate a need to modify current education system and timely help to have psychological healthy dental professionals in future.

KEYWORDS:

Academic stress; anxiety; dental students; depression; nonacademic stress; suicidal intent

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