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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2016 Oct-Dec;7(4):493-498.

Longitudinal assessment of depression, stress, and burnout in medical students.

Author information

1
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
2
Department of Community Medicine, Grant Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
3
Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Medical students can and do suffer from mental disorders is a concept yet to get wide acceptance. There are few studies comprehensively evaluating depression, stress, and burnout in medical students, especially in a longitudinal way in India. The current study aims to assess the impact of medical education on the development of psychological morbidities and the role of personality.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

First-year medical students of a leading medical college of India were enrolled on admission and given anonymized, validated, self-administered questionnaires assessing depression, stress, burnout, and personality. This was repeated at the end of 1st year. Data were analyzed independently as questionnaires were anonymized.

RESULTS:

We found that 1st year of medical college showed a significantly increasing depression (P < 0.01) and stress (P < 0.01). Overall burnout did not increase significantly. However, only disengagement dimension of burnout increased significantly. Personalities with weak capacity to adjust had a significant positive correlation with depression (r = 0.277, P < 0.001) and stress scores (r = 0.210, P = 0.008). However, burnout did not correlate with any of the personality dimensions.

CONCLUSION:

Right from the 1st year of medical education students perceive high-stress levels and have a high risk of depression. Burnout starts to creep in at least in the form of disengagement. This study provides a sound groundwork for planning interventions to reduce student's mental morbidity and avoid burnout.

KEYWORDS:

Burnout; depression; medical students; stress

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