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Acad Psychiatry. 2017 Apr;41(2):174-179. doi: 10.1007/s40596-016-0526-y. Epub 2016 Mar 14.

Inadequate Sleep and Exercise Associated with Burnout and Depression Among Medical Students.

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University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



The authors studied whether low levels of exercise or inadequate sleep correlated with higher levels of burnout and depression in medical students.


Medical students of all years at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey in Fall 2012 and Winter 2013. Validated measures were used to assess exercise, sleep, burnout, and depression.


Response rates were 28.7 % at the beginning of the school year and 22.6 % at the middle of the school year. Burnout rates overall were 22.4 % at the beginning of the year and 19.2 % in the middle of the year. Eight percent of students screened positive for depression at the beginning of the year and 9.3 % in the middle of the year. Decreased exercise frequency was significantly correlated with lower professional efficacy. Pathological sleepiness was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of burnout. Inadequate sleep correlated with significantly lower professional efficacy and higher exhaustion scores. Burnout was associated with a positive depression screen. Positive depression screening, pathological sleepiness, and sleeping less than 7 h a night were independent predictors of burnout.


Sleep habits, exercise, and a positive depression screen were associated with burnout risk within the medical student population.


Burnout; Depression; Exercise; Medical students; Sleep

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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