A Cross-sectional analysis of potential stressors leading to depression among medical students of public sector Universities of Sindh
Keywords:Stress, Depression, Medical Students.
Background: Till the 70's, it was believed that depression among students was rare or even non-existent. This concept has now begun to change. Research studies that show presence of depressive problems in students have started surfacing but much more need to be explored. Objective: To find out the causes and level of stress and depression among undergraduate medical students of public sector medical universities and medical colleges of Sindh. Methods: This cross sectional psycho-social analysis included 587 undergraduate medical students from 6 public sector medical institutes of Sindh. Multistage sampling was implemented. Sampling procedure includes both stratified sampling and simple random sampling. Stratification was done on the basis of location of university and medical college and year of study. Informed consent was taken from every student. Stress and depression levels were measured in accordance to academic and non-academic stressors. Data analysis was done on SPSS version 17.0. Results: Girls showed a much higher depression score in comparison with boys. Hostilities had a significantly greater depression score than those who were living with their families. It was revealed that students having higher grades and GPA had much higher scores of depression compared to students having lower grades and GPA. Fear of unemployment after studies and lack of positive response from parents and institution were few of the most potent stressors. Conclusion: On the basis of our result we conclude that a decrease in medical syllabus and time extension in semesters may directly reduce students’ workload and consequently decrease the depression level. Stress management programs should be conducted in every institute for coping with the stress. Efficacious moral and substantial support from faculty, teachers and families is crucial to ameliorate of students’ health.