Medical students have higher levels of depressive symptoms than the general population. Additionally, depressed students are more likely to commit suicide. Recent studies find up to 10% of medical students experiment depression and suicidal ideation, which is meaningfully higher than general population of similar age (5–8%). However, little is known about depression and suicidal ideation in medical students in Spain.
This study aims to create a self-administered questionnaire to investigate the prevalence and factors involved in depression and suicidal behaviour in medical students from a Spanish University.
We evaluated the main risk factors leaning to suicide in students. In addition, we selected an appropriate scale to assess depression among the existing ones. The evaluated items included demographic reports, academic information (academic course, unfinished subjects and accomplishment) and sanitary data (psychiatric family history, psychiatric personal history, psychotropic drug consumption, distress emotional events in the last twelve months and drugs consumption). Furthermore, we selected the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) because of its rapidly implementation and proven efficacy.
Rates of depression and suicidal ideation are high in medical students. Currently, there is no program to detect and prevent depression neither suicide in students. For that reason, we consider that creating a new instrument to evaluate mental health in student is useful in order to offer early detection and treatment at medical school.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.